WASHINGTON, DC, December 12, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - According to the Pentagon, if a provision in the defense authorization bill repealing a military ban on sodomy and bestiality is passed, bestiality would still remain a prohibited activity based upon a separate, general provision.
The measure to remove the bans was included in the Senate version of the defense bill, which passed 93-7 last week. According to USA Today, one Congressional aide reports that it is unlikely to survive this evening’s conference between House and Senate leaders which will reconcile the two competing versions of the legislation.
If it does pass, however, Article 125 will be removed from the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The article states: “Any person ... who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy.”
The proposed change has met with public protest from conservative groups, presidential contender Michele Bachmann, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The Pentagon responded to the outcry last Friday with a statement explaining that if Article 125 is removed, bestiality would still be covered under a general prohibition against any action “prejudicial to good order and discipline.”
While this reassurance may pacify PETA, some prominent conservative figures say it doesn’t address concerns about sodomy.
Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, pointed out that the general provision that the Pentagon is now appealing to as a standing ban on bestiality “used to be presumptive against homosexuality.”
He added that removing the ban on homosexual behavior in the military raises issues of “order and discipline” particularly pressing for those who would be forced to bunk and shower with openly gay members of the same sex.
According to LaBarbera, a provision enjoining “order and discipline” is in danger of becoming meaningless if it can no longer be interpreted to prevent such situations.
“Once you take away the boundaries, there’s really nothing stopping further sexual license,” he said. “It turns the military into a liar because the military has all sorts of statements about upholding virtues and morals and now they have to pretend that they can do that while basically mainstreaming a perversion.”
Arthur Goldberg, co-director of Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, an organization that helps members of the Jewish community who are struggling with homosexual inclinations, expressed similar concerns about the “slippery slope” effect of legitimizing homosexual acts.
Advocates for acceptance of bestiality, such as prominent Princeton professor Peter Singer, point to the acceptance of homosexuality as an important precedent, Goldberg said.