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Baptist group bars chaplains from same-sex rituals

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Southern Baptist Convention, which provides the largest share of active-duty military chaplains, has barred members from taking part in weddings, counseling sessions, and couples retreats for same-sex couples.

The North American Mission Board, an arm of the Nashville, Tenn.-based SBC, also prohibits chaplains from participating in any services that would appear to endorse or accept same-sex unions.

The group issued the decision in the wake of the U.S. Department of Defense recognizing same-sex marriages and extending benefits to gay spouses.

‘‘Our chaplains want to uphold the authority and relevancy of Scripture while continuing to serve in a very diverse setting,’’ Doug Carver, a retired Army major general who leads NAMB’s chaplaincy efforts, said in a statement Aug. 29.

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