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Sodomy & Bestiality Bans Will Stay in Military Law Books

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Language banning sodomy and bestiality in the military has been reinserted into the annual defense authorization bill, which is now headed for President Barack Obama's signature.

According to CNS News, the provision that would have repealed Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice was dropped in a House-Senate conference committee on the final version of the bill.

As The Blaze previously reported, when the Senate voted to approve its version of the bill last month, it included a provision that repealed Article 125, which specifically prohibits sodomy and having sex with animals.

Pentagon officials had described the change as largely a "legal housekeeping matter," according to Stars and Stripes: The sodomy ban was struck long ago by the Supreme Court, and bestiality is prohibited elsewhere in military law. But the repeal prompted a storm of outrage, particularly from the conservative Family Research Council, which accused the administration of using the military to promote its "radical social agenda," particularly on the heels of Obama overturning the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy for gay soldiers.

The provision continued to make news when a reporter asked White House press secretary Jay Carney during a briefing whether the president approved or disapproved of bestiality in the armed forces. Carney brushed the question aside, refusing to comment and said to move on to "something more serious." People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals subsequently criticized Carney for treating the issue "flippantly" and also sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging the ban be reinstated.

Several senators, including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), told CNS they were unaware the Senate bill had contained language dropping the ban. The Senate had approved it 93-7.

PETA told Stars and Stripes the organization welcome the decision.

"Even if this part of the statute is for all intents and purposes dormant, the Department of Defense has given its assurance that anyone committing a sexually abusive act with a member of another species will be prosecuted," PETA spokewoman Colleen O’Brien said.

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