December 8, 2011
FRC, PETA Call for Continuing an Explicit Military Ban on Bestiality
In an unlikely alliance, the Family Research Council (FRC) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have found a common cause: the criminalization of bestiality in the military. Both groups are calling for keeping an explicit ban on sex with animals in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that may be eliminated by the Defense Authorization Act.
One of the many changes in the act included the removal of the sodomy section of the code after the removal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban. Few realized that the UCMJ defines sodomy either as homosexual relations or as sex with an animal. By striking out the entire sodomy provision, Congress may have decriminalized bestiality.
When the Senate passed the bill last week (93 yeas, 7 nays), FRC said the new rule put the ban on bestiality in doubt. According to the FRC, removing the entire sodomy section from the UCMJ “may have inadvertently opened the door to even more perversion.” FRC told CT that its legal experts said that “by eliminating Article 125, the Senate would be creating a legal argument for bestiality.” FRC president Tony Perkins said the bestiality change was likely unintentional. However, he also suggested that the provision may be part of what the FRC sees as President Obama's attempt to shape the culture through the military.
“While we'd like to believe this is an oversight on their part, it does point to the administration's pattern of undermining the environment that the military code was intended to create,” Perkins said. “This may not have been deliberate, but it's certainly conceivable from leaders who pay so little attention to the consequences of their extreme social agenda.”
In another statement, Perkins described “Obama's military” as being “where bestiality is embraced and Bibles are banned.”
The issue gained some national attention when World Net Daily's Lester Kinsolving broached the issue during Monday's White House press briefing, where both the press and the press secretary made light of the issue. In response, PETA sent White House press secretary Jay Carney a letter saying the issue was serious and not something to kid about.
"Animal abuse is an issue of community safety that should be taken seriously by all government staff,” PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk said. “We hope that the public outcry against this inadvertent lapse will inspire the military to take action to make sure that it will be able to fully and appropriately serve and protect all Americans—human and nonhuman alike."
FRC and PETA make unlikely allies. Earlier this year, FRC's Robert Morrison criticized PETA's efforts to translate eliminate the pronoun “it” when referring to an animal in the Bible. PETA advocates using “he” or “she” instead. Morrison said, “PETA folks get this one wrong, too, as they get most things wrong.”
The provision may still be amended. A conference committee must reconcile the House version of the bill passed in May. While both the House and Senate versions of the bill eliminate the entire sodomy article, the final compromise could still alter the language to keep bestiality explicitly prohibited.
Editor's note: This post has been updated.