Dozens of retired military chaplains say that serving both God and the U.S. armed forces will become impossible for chaplains whose faiths consider homosexuality a sin if the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is thrown out.
They say a chaplain who preaches against homosexuality could conceivably be disciplined as a bigot under the military's nondiscrimination policy, though the Pentagon says chaplains' religious beliefs and their need to express them will be respected.
Clergy would be ineligible to serve as chaplains if their churches withdraw their endorsements, however, and some have threatened to do so if "don't ask, don't tell" ends. A federal judge threw out the policy this month, but it remains in effect while the federal government appeals the ruling.
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