Senate Passes Bill That Repeals Sodomy Laws in Uniform Military Code of Justice-Truth! But Removed From Final Bill!

Summary of eRumor:

A forwarded email that contains an article that says that the U.S. Senate unanimously approved S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act, which has a provision that repeals Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  This is the part of military law that defines and bans sodomy.

The Truth:

The U.S. Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 1867 on December 1, 2011 by of vote of 93 to 7.  There was a provision in the bill that repealed Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice on page 174 of the bill. It said, “REPEAL OF SODOMY ARTICLE.—Section 925 of such title (article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice) is repealed.”

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 is a 565 page long and confusing bill, which was sent to a conference committee to work out the differences between the Senate bill S. 1867 and the House Bill, HR-1540 before presenting it to the President for the final step in the legislative process.   That final version of the bill does not contain the repeal of Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Text and status of the bill can be found at the Thomas Library of Congress web site: Click for HR-1540

Another rumor about this bill has been circulating the Internet alleging that it ends the Bill of Rights for citizens in the U.S.  Click here for our findings.

updated 12/27/11

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Senate Approves Bill that Legalizes Sodomy and Bestiality in U.S. Military
By Pete Winn
December 1, 2011
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Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. (AP photo)
( – (Updated) The Senate on Thursday evening voted 93-7 to approve a defense authorization bill that includes a provision which not only repeals the military law on sodomy, it also repeals the military ban on sex with animals–or bestiality.
On Nov. 15, the Senate Armed Services Committee had unanimously approved S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision to repeal Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
Article 125 of the UCMJ makes it illegal to engage in both sodomy with humans and sex with animals.
It states: “(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.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said the effort to remove sodomy from military law stems from liberal Senate Democrats’ and President Obama’s support for removing the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.
“It’s all about using the military to advance this administration’s radical social agenda,” Perkins told “Not only did they overturn Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but they had another problem, and that is, under military law sodomy is illegal, just as adultery is illegal, so they had to remove that prohibition against sodomy.”
Perkins said removing the bestiality provision may have been intentional–or just “collateral damage”
“Well, whether it was inadvertent or not, they have also taken out the provision against bestiality,” he said. “So now, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), there’s nothing there to prosecute bestiality.”
Former Army Col. Bob Maginnis said some military lawyers have indicated that bestiality may be prosecutable under another section of the military code of justice – the “catch-all” Article 134 for offenses against “good military order and discipline.”
But don’t count on that, he said.
“If we have a soldier who engages in sodomy with an animal – whether a government animal or a non-government animal – is it, in fact, a chargeable offense under the Uniform Code? I think that’s in question,” Maginnis told
“When the reader stops laughing, the reader needs to ask the question whether or not this is in the best interests of the government, in the best interests of the military and the best interests of the country? I think not.”
He added: “Soldiers, unfortunately, like it or not, have engaged in this type of behavior in the past. Will they in the future, if they remove this statute? I don’t know.”
Perkins said there was no attempt to remove the UCMJ repeal provision from the bill, which Perkins had expected the Senate to approve.
Now that it has passed, however, the Senate version will have to go to a conference committee, and Perkins predicts there will be several sticking points with the House.
“The House in their version of the defense authorization, reinforced the Defense of Marriage Act, saying that there is a military DOMA as well, prohibiting same-sex marriage on military bases – something the Department of Defense is pushing for,” he said.
“And now this is an added concern, that sodomy has been removed, and as we have discovered, that bestiality–the prohibition against it–has been removed from the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So yes, the House will have problems with this bill.”