As you know, the Fourteenth Amendment clearly states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Furthermore, it is impossible to determine how many otherwise-qualified individuals were dissuaded from serving in the armed forces because of the Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy, but it is also reasonable to suggest that the figures are high and the need for their service is great.
The United States is proud of its heritage of being a nation of laws, and the laws that apply in the case of Dont Ask, Dont Tell make it abundantly clear that this archaic relic of the past is no longer relevant in the 21st century. This is not to suggest, of course, that we should lower our standards to qualify for military service or that homosexuals should be singled out for recruiting, but it is to say that an individuals sexual orientation simply should not be an issue when it comes to serving in the armed forces. In fact, although the Uniform Code of Military Justice does not specifically prohibit homosexuals serving in the armed forces, it does set forth what constitutes a criminal act that can ruin an individuals military career and place him or her in the stockade with a corresponding loss of privileges, pay and a dishonorable discharge upon completion of the sentence.
According to UCMJ Section 925, Article 125, service members can be found guilty of engaging in sodomy if they take part in any sexual act that is not specifically between a husband and wife and is not sexual intercourse in the traditional sense: “(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.” Good grief! This outdated and downright silly definition of sodomy means that a husband and wife, if either are members of the military, are forbidden from engaging in oral sex or any other type of sexual activity that transcends this overly strict definition of sodomy, and the consequences for violating this section can be severe.
Please, step up to the plate and make the right decision about this issue that has been harmful to the ability of the armed forces to accomplish their mission — a mission that has assumed increasing importance in recent years. These are not the Middle Ages and it is time to take action now to allow openly homosexual individuals who are otherwise qualified for active military service to do so. Thank you for the opportunity to add my voices to those who support the repeal of the Dont Ask, Dont.