Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Veterans of America, Inc.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
POST OFFICE BOX 610511
Birmingham, Alabama 35261-0511
(205) 833-8391 FAX (205) 833-2681
PRESS RELEASE #97-10 June 24, 1997
NATIONAL VETERANS ORGANIZATION APPLAUDS CONGRESSMAN
BARNEY FRANK’S INTRODUCTION OF THE ANTI-HYPOCRISY ACT
Just 43 days after a Pentagon meeting with officers of the Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Veterans of America, Inc. (GLBVA) in which the subject of the UCMJ’s sodomy clause and its eventual repeal was a topic of discussion, Department of Defense officials once again find the subject at the forefront of national attention. On Tuesday, June 17, Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced a bill to amend Title 10, United States Code to provide that consensual sexual activity between adults shall not be a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
James C. Darby, GLBVA National President, responded to the introduction of this legislation saying, “Some of the stories that have come out of the Pentagon over the last month or so allude to the fact that changes are being considered and I feel that our meetings with the Pentagon and White House last month had a definite impact on what is being discussed at this time. During our meetings with officials at both the Pentagon and White House, we discussed the possibility of a repeal or modification of Article 125 and in neither meeting was there an objection to the idea. We commend Representative Barney Frank on his swift action and continued support for the rights of all Americans in the Armed Services and we whole-heatedly support him in this effort.”
Representative Frank’s Bill, cited as the ‘Anti-Hypocrisy Act of 1997’, would amend Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice by adding the word ‘nonconsensual’ to the article, thereby preserving the military’s ability to use this clause to prosecute servicemembers on the charge of sodomy in cases involving rape and/or coercion. Further, it would amend Articles 133 and 134, the ‘General Articles’ which are most often used at the discretion of military commanders to charge servicmembers for adultery and other acts considered to be indecent, would be amended to specifically state that ‘consensual acts of a sexual nature between adults that does not involve compensation and cohabitation by adults shall not be the basis for prosecution’.
“In the past this has been considered strictly a homosexual issue and no one would have dared to introduce legislation to outlaw the policing of servicemembers bedrooms”, says Edward Clayton, National Vice-President of Public Affairs for GLBVA. “But in recent weeks we have seen this archaic regulation used just as arbitrarily against two heterosexual servicemembers and now suddenly they are singing the same old song we have been singing for years – It’s just not right!”.
GLBVA, Inc. is the only national non-profit organization for gay, lesbian and bisexual active duty, reserve and veteran members of the United States Armed Forces, their families, friends and supporters.