Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ nothing but a sham [The Arena]

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Repealed?

The head of Pentagon personnel policies issued a memo to the work force at a minute after midnight Tuesday. "All service members are to treat one another with dignity and respect regardless of sexual orientation," the memo from Clifford Stanley said.  The Associated Press reported that gay advocacy groups celebrated across the country.  And President Obama said he is confident that lifting the ban will enhance U.S. national security:

"As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love.  As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members."

dadt 12-22-10.jpg

President Obama signing the repeal of DADT 12/22/10

But folks familiar with military law will recognize this political charade as a hoax.

Last December, congressional Democrats were able to push through a bill repealing  the Clinton-era “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law.  But congress only repealed the ban on openly gay people serving in the military; it failed to repeal the military’s strict prohibition of homosexual behavior.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U.S.C. Chapter 47) was passed by Congress on May 5, 1950, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, and became effective on May 31, of the following year. The word Uniform in the Code's title refers to the congressional intent to make military justice uniform or consistent among the armed services.

Article 125 of the UCMJ makes sodomy a court-martial offense:   ART. 125. SODOMY.  (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 be punished as a court-martial may direct.

dadt2.jpgAnd sodomy is not the only sexual misconduct punishable in the military.  Article 134 is often considered to be a "catch-all" for various offenses that aren't necessarily covered by the other articles in the UCMJ. Article 134 offenses include disloyal statements, abusing an animal, adultery, bigamy, bribery and graft, drinking liquor with a prisoner, fleeing the scene of an accident, fraternization, gambling with a subordinate, et al. It reflect acts that are not specifically listed, but nevertheless committed, by military personnel that “negatively impact the service.”

The phony “repeal” passed by congress, and signed into law on December 22, 2010, merely allows openly gay people to serve in the military; but it still permits them to be punished severely for individual acts of sodomy or adultery.  Unless and until the UCMJ is amended by an act of the congress, the Democratic pandering to their gay supporters is nothing more than a thinly-veiled hoax.

As former U.S. Marines Tony Perkins and John Sheehan wrote recently at Politico.com, the supposed compromise to allow open homosexuality in the military, struck by President Barack Obama, gay rights lobby groups and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was less of an honest meeting in the middle than a political charade to mask a preordained conclusion.

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Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).

 

About Thomas McAdam
At various times I have been a student, a soldier, a college Political Science teacher, a political campaign treasurer, and legal adviser to Louisville's Police Department and Board of Aldermen. I now practice law and share my political opinions with anyone who will listen.
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