Thursday, 08 December 2011

GOP Senators Claim Ignorance of Sodomy/Bestiality Repeal They Approved

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soldiersTo say the least, there were a few red faces in the U.S. Senate following news that 93 Senators had voted for a defense authorization bill that included a repeal of Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which bans soldiers from engaging in either sodomy or bestiality. At least two GOP lawmakers admitted they were not aware of the existence of the provision in the bill they voted to approve.

The UCMJ’s Article 125 specifies that any individual “who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy [and] shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration, whose policy of homosexual appeasement was behind the repeal provision, did not appear to be in the least embarrassed. As reported by CNSNews.com, when World Net Daily reporter Lester Kinsolving asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about President Obama’s reaction to the Senate voting to repeal the military law banning sex with animals, Carney quickly dismissed the query with a laugh and an admonition that the conference needed to move on to “something more serious.”

The White House had good reason to brush aside concerns over the repeal. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council noted that such a law enforcing basic moral decency flies in the face of attempts by the Obama administration and congressional Democrats to give practicing homosexuals open access to the military. With the Senate’s attempt to repeal the sodomy law came the overturning of the ban on bestiality as well. “Whether it was inadvertent or not, they have also taken out the provision against bestiality,” confirmed Perkins of the Senate vote. “So now, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice there’s nothing there to prosecute bestiality.”

Even the liberal People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) felt the need to scold the White House for its levity concerning the issue. In a letter to Carney, PETA communications director Colleen O’Brien said the situation was “no laughing matter,” adding that PETA officials were troubled by how “flippantly” he had addressed the military repeal of bestiality. Emphasizing that animal abuse is “a matter of public safety, as people who abuse animals very often go on to abuse human beings,” O’Brien expressed her hope that in the future Carney and the White House would “address important issues with sensitivity and not dismiss them with a joke.”

But more amazing than the lack of shame by the White House was the troubling discovery that at least two Republicans who voted for the defense bill were totally ignorant of the fact that they had voted to repeal the UCMJ’s sodomy/bestiality ban — meaning, apparently, that they hadn’t bothered to fully read and research the bill they had approved.

According to CNSNews.com, among those admitting their lack of understanding on the bill was Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee — whose unanimous approval brought the bill before the full Senate.

When asked whether he knew about the measure, a baffled McCain spluttered to a CNSNews reporter: “I don’t, I don’t know what you’re — honestly. I read the bill. And I was there for many hours of deliberation and debate and amendments, and probably spent hundreds of, several hundred hours on it. But that particular provision I did not know.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who also voted for the bill, was more cagey in his response. Asked if he had been aware of the provision, Graham, a former military prosecutor and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the CNSNews reporter, “No, I can’t say I was. But … I think I know what the military is getting at there, in light of the change in policy. But no, I can’t say that I was, so we’ll look at that.”

Given the opportunity to confirm that he did not support such an objectionable change to military law, Graham instead dug in deeper, saying he had to get “DOD’s reasoning” on the change. “Okay?” he continued. “I’m sure it was put in there as … input from the Department of Defense [and] I’d like to hear them out.”

Not all legislators offered such a nonchalant response to the troubling repeal of the military morals statute. Speaking on Glenn Beck’s television show, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) called the approval “absolutely abhorrent, reprehensible,” adding: “Have we lost our minds? We’re talking about the military! Our military men and women! In what planet and universe could you reside where somehow all sexual practices are equal?”

Conservatives note that the repeal of the sodomy/bestiality ban has little chance of making it into the final defense authorization bill, since the Senate version must be reconciled with a version passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. That much more conservative bill includes a nod of approval to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as well as the emphasis that DOMA, which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman, applies to the military as well as civilian sectors, and prohibits same-sex marriages on military bases.

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