President Barack Obama has signed the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act after issuing several public veto threats. But the President has issued a written "signing statement" that lists several objections, including Republican-backed amendments that obstruct his plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects.
The signing statement also objects to a "conscience" provision which Republican members claim would protect "chaplains from being forced to perform same-sex marriages or take other actions that might offend their religious beliefs." The President called that provision "unnecessary and ill-advised."
Section 533 is an unnecessary and ill-advised provision, as the military already appropriately protects the freedom of conscience of chaplains and service members. The Secretary of Defense will ensure that the implementing regulations do not permit or condone discriminatory actions that compromise good order and discipline or otherwise violate military codes of conduct. My Administration remains fully committed to continuing the successful implementation of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and to protecting the rights of gay and lesbian service members; Section 533 will not alter that.
"Obama signed this year's defense authorization bill while traveling in Hawaii, after he resumed his family vacation Tuesday following Congressional passage of legislation to avert the so-called 'fiscal cliff'," adds Politico.