Defense Bill Would Protect the Intimate Relationships of All Military Service Members

June 14, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – The Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday adopted the National Defense Authorization Act, which included a provision sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that would repeal the prohibition on some expressions of private, consensual intimacy by military personnel – regardless of whether they are an opposite-sex or same-sex couple – defined in Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice as "unnatural carnal copulation."

"With the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' continuing to label the intimate relationships of all gay and lesbian service members, including married couples, as a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice is both stigmatizing and discriminatory," said Ian Thompson, American Civil Liberties Union legislative representative. "Thankfully, the Senate Armed Services Committee has taken this key step toward moving military criminal law in line with both Supreme Court and military court precedent recognizing constitutional guarantees of liberty and privacy."

The National Defense Authorization Act now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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