Rep. John Fleming, R-La., and Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., are hinting at punishment for any chaplain or servicemembers who participated in an informal same-sex commitment ceremony at Fort Polk, Louisiana, in May.

Akin sponsored legislation last year that would have silenced and suppressed chaplains who affirm equal marriage; both congressmen continue to push for passage.

Now, the Associated Press reports, the two politicians believe the unconstitutional federal ban on same-sex marriages — and state laws against civil marriage and civil unions — apply to any informal or religious ceremony, and not just formal civil commitments.

This expansion of antimarriage laws to cover informal and religious ceremonies would potentially threaten various forms of ordinary association that until now have been protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

That appears not a problem for these congressmen. One might conclude they believe that homosexual Americans, and the religious entities that support them, are exempt from constitutional protection.