'The nation's troops should be protected by the same Constitution they give their lives to defend,' said HRC president Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign lauded the Pentagon for its proposal to decriminalize consensual sodomy in the military, according to an article in today's New York Times. Both opposite-sex and same-sex couples are prohibited from engaging in "unnatural carnal copulation with another person" under Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
"The nation's troops should be protected by the same Constitution they give their lives to defend," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "This marks a sign of recognition by the military that our country's promise of freedom should extend to our service members. We are committed to working with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to ensure that Congress approves this change in policy and understands its implications on the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ban."
"Repeal of Article 125 would remove a significant obstacle in the fight to end the military's gay ban," said SLDN Director of Law and Policy Sharra E. Greer in a statement today. "Pentagon leaders can no longer justify banning gays because of private, consensual conduct if the military sodomy statute is repealed. Commanders should be concerned about winning the war on terror, not about prying into service members' private lives. However, service members must understand that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' remains law, and those known to be lesbian, gay or bisexual will continue to be discharged."
A measure in the House, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual troops, and allow them to serve openly in the military. HRC works with SLDN and other advocacy groups to ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender troops are free to serve.
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