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Catholic chaplains given marching orders barring service to gay couples

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Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage, nor are they allowed to take part in any marriage counseling retreats that are open to gay couples under new rules issued by the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

The rules, sent to chaplains on Sept. 18 by Archbishop Timothy Broglio, head of the AMS, also bar chaplains from taking part in a funeral for a Catholic if that participation "would give the impression that the church approves of same sex 'marital' relationships."

Idaho lawmaker introduces Marriage and Religious Freedom Act in House

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A bill introduced in the U.S. House to keep the federal government from discriminating against churches, religious groups and businesses that uphold marriage as being between one man and one woman is "of fundamental importance," two U.S. Catholic bishops said Friday.

A day earlier, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, introduced the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, known as H.R. 3133.

States balk at Medicaid expansion

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As opening day for the new health care law approaches, almost half the states in the country have not agreed to go along with a provision to expand their Medicaid programs to include more of their uninsured poor. Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell wants voters to put pressure on those governors and legislators to change their minds about balking at the Medicaid expansion.

"It's straight party politics," she said during a speech Sept. 12 at Mount Marty College in Yankton. "Everyone is positioning for the 2014 election. We people of faith have got to stand up."

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April 11-24, 2014

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