Adam Polaski

Senate's Proposed Defense Bill Leaves Out Antigay Amendments

Filed By Adam Polaski | June 18, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Alex Nicholson, Don't Ask Don't Tell, military, Servicemembers United, sodomy ban

Servicemembers.jpgOn Thursday the Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously signed off on its version of the Defense Authorization Bill for 2012. The bill - the main thrust of which is funding for defense programs and pay increases for troops - does not include antigay amendments pertaining to Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal, and it actually actively works toward LGBT equality.

Earlier this year, the House version of the defense bill included three key anti-gay amendments. Two expanded and reiterated the Defense of Marriage Act, and the third sought to delay the certification process for DADT repeal, which took place in December.

The committee also proposed the repeal of Article 125 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is effectively a sodomy ban on consenting adults.

The article, which has been in effect for over a decade but has reportedly hardly been enforced in recent history, reads:

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.

Alex Nicholson, the executive director of Servicemembers United, the gay U.S. military organization, responded to both triumphs in the Senate version of the bill. He said:

As predicted, the Senate Armed Services Committee has remained focused on serious military issues and has refused to waste time and taxpayer money trying to delay or stop the repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law.

By proactively acting to remove Article 125 from the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Senate Armed Services Committee has also reaffirmed that it is committed to modernizing the U.S. military and its personnel policies, and to removing outdated provisions that have long been viewed as unnecessary and even ridiculous by military commanders on the ground.

Committee members reported they were confident that no antigay amendments would be reincorporated into the bill during discussion on the Senate floor.

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It was just grandstanding. They know it would never pass the Senate & Obama wouldn't sign it.

Tina (IL) | June 19, 2011 5:02 PM

Bil, I respectfully disagree. I believe the Republican/Tea Party House wants to roll the clock back to a time when transgendered people were routintely beaten, when gay's were in the closet, and when white, male, heterosexual "leaders" were able to have have open affairs in the WH without anyone reporting it. We have a line in the sand...either we will continue to move forward (or as those who are anti-LGBT would say "towards Sodom and Gomorah") or we can move backwards (towards a time when different meant bad and everyone believed in an illusive concept called the melting pot that never actually worked, but made those in power feel great).

You have Kobe Bryant shouting out the word Faggot...then again with the jets guy and David Tyree speaking out against Gay Marriage...and of course you have Tracey Morgan being downright hateful against gays and there are no ramifications. Even the sight of Weiner's Weiner has brought down a Congressman. Are people that afraid of Gays in this day and age? Well Marc Freden, too, has been given pause with the issue.

As a gay man, even he feels the need to apologize for the blatant use of the word "Faggot" in his new book "REALLY!?!" Now Freden using the "F" word should get a tacit pass...much like black people using the "N" word to describe themselves. His harmless use of the word...(And you must read the book to understand) has lead him to a video mea culpa on YouTube "Marc Freden Must Apologize to the Gay Community".

Furthermore, Freden has pledged that if Kobe Bryant can be fined $50,000 then he too should pay a price. A percentage of every book sold as a result of his apology will go to the Trevor Project - a gay hot line for distressed teens looking for a voice of calm and understanding. It is the least he can do. Who will join Freden in this cause?