Repealing the legislation isn’t enough. There is still the matter of dealing with the UCMJ. The Uniform Code of Military Justice. The UCMJ is what the Military uses to maintain its own law and order, if you will excuse the term. The UCMJ has some very specific things to say about so-called “homosexual acts”, as some would call it, in Article 125.
(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient
to complete the offense.
(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall by punished as a court-martial may direct.”
(1) That the accused engaged in unnatural carnal copulation with a certain other person or with an animal. (Note: Add either or both of the following elements, if applicable)
(2) That the act was done with a child under the age of 16.
(3) That the act was done by force and without the consent of the other person.
It is unnatural carnal copulation for a person to take into that person’s mouth or anus the sexual organ of another person or of an animal; or to place that person’s sexual organ in the mouth or anus of another person or of an animal; or to have carnal copulation in any opening of the body, except the sexual parts, with another person; or to have carnal copulation with an animal.
If DADT is repealed, without Congress changing the UCMJ there is still the chance that all of these people who are now allowed to be free and open about themselves could still be punished under Article 125. So, it comes as a great relief to find this in the Stars and Stripes online today:
A panel of legal scholars has suggested that Congress remove sodomy as a crime punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a recommendation that could boost efforts to end a ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military.
The Commission on Military Justice recommended that Article 125, which deals with sodomy, be repealed, arguing that “most acts of consensual sodomy committed by consenting military personnel are not prosecuted, creating a perception that prosecution of this sexual behavior is arbitrary.”
I mean, yay! Someone is thinking ahead on this. It isn’t often that I have witnessed the Military being proactive rather than reactive to something (if you can call it this).
Plenty of heterosexual couples have violated this, let me assure you. I would be interested to see the stats that back up the claim that the majority of people discharged under Article 125 are straight.
Since I first found this article on the Free Republic (OH MY EYES!), I am sure that Conservajerks are going to be all over this one. So let’s address something, shall we?
Opponents: ZOMG! If we repeal Article 125 then the Military will think it is OK to have sex with children!!1!
Fact: 1) You can not have sex with children. Children can not give consent. The correct term for that is rape. 2) Raping children would still be illegal under UCMJ Article 120, which covers and defines, say it with me now, rape.
Now, I have a few issues with Article 120 all on its own. It deserves to be addressed, but it covers the child rape issue pretty clearly. Any person who has not attained the age of sixteen years. Pretty clear. It is already illegal to rape children. So, saying that we need Article 125 to prevent this is pretty much intentionally obtuse.
Opponents: ZOMG! If Article 125 is repealed, then the rape in the Military problem will get worse, because it will be harder to punish!!1!ELEVENTY!
Fact: Ummm. No. Again, Article 120 already covers this. Rape is already illegal, and the Military is already taking massive steps to prove that it takes rape and sexual assault seriously, with more training than you can shake a stick at. Also, there is a little thing that the UCMJ has called Article 134, otherwise known as the “catch all” clause, meaning if they don’t think they can bust your ass with something else, they sure as hell are going to get you with this one.
So, we can put to rest the thought that Article 125 is so badly needed that we can’t repeal it. In order to make the repealing of DADT, to allow service members to serve out and open freely, without fear of being hurt, abused, or otherwise hazed in their working environments, often leading to suicide or physical and mental illness, often left untreated because the service member is discharged without benefits . It needs to go (and, let’s be honest, it needed to go, like, 100 years ago. Really.) and the sooner the better.