Last edited: October 25, 2003

Military’s Sodomy Ban Challenged

Focus on the Family, October 6, 2003

By Stuart Shepard, correspondent

The ACLU hopes to use recent Supreme Court decision to overturn homosexual airman’s conviction.

The first legal challenge to the military’s sodomy ban since the U.S. Supreme Court voided state laws outlawing sodomy is scheduled to be heard Tuesday.

The case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, involves an airman already convicted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The appeal will be heard by the military’s equivalent of the Supreme Court.

“This is an important case, because it is the first opportunity that we have had to test the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas decision within the military court system,” said Steve Ralls, a spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a pro-gay legal society.

He argued that the decision in the Lawrence case, which struck down state laws against homosexual sex, means military laws must be struck down as well.

“It would essentially put military law in compliance with civilian law,” Ralls said.

But Jordan Lorence, a vice president at the Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-family legal society, said the military must be free to set its own rules regarding homosexual conduct, regardless of what laws bind the states, because of the military’s inherent lack of privacy and the demands of combat.

“Even if it’s consensual, if it’s between members of the military — as it was in this case — inevitably (homosexuality) is going to cause disruption because the individual soldiers are going to be concerned: ‘Who’s staring at me? Who’s sexually attracted to me?’ “ he said.

Lorence added that the Lawrence decision — in which justices found that the Constitution’s so-called right to privacy extends to homosexual sodomy — is now being cited in all sorts of cases, even the defense of polygamy.

“The big question is: How far is the reach of Lawrence v. Texas?” Lorence said. “Does it basically legalize everything?”

FOR MORE INFORMATION We recommend the following book: “The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today,” by Alan Sears and Craig Osten.

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