Sen. Lieberman Proposes Legalizing Bisexual Behavior in the U.S. Military
March 5, 2010Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced the "Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2010" last week, which he says would legalize bisexual behavior in the military.
CNSNews.com asked Lieberman, “In the House version of the bill, sponsored by [Rep.] Patrick Murphy [D.-Pa.], the term sexual orientation includes bisexuality as well. Will your bill allow members of the military to engage in bisexual behavior? Will it be legalized?”
Lieberman responded, “Well, of course it will be private behavior, but the bill uses the term 'sexual orientation.' The answer is yes. In other words, bisexuality will be, people who are bisexual will be protected if they are otherwise living according to the military code."
A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in 2009 that would, if it becomes law, “institute in the armed forces a policy of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation.”
The language of Lieberman’s bill has not yet been made available. However, it will likely borrow from the language of the House bill, which would repeal existing law, Article 10, Section 654 of US Code that prohibits homosexual and bisexual activity in the military and does not allow homosexuals or bisexuals to serve openly.
The military’s current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy, established in 1993 by President Clinton’s Department of Defense, means that military personnel should not ask any soldier about their sexuality and individuals serving in the military should not openly discuss their sexuality. DADT is a policy but it is not the law.
Federal law Article 10, Section 654, among other things, states: “A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations:
“(1) That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts ….
“That the member has married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex.”
Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Roland Burris (D-Ill.) and Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) are co-sponsors of Lieberman’s bill.
Armed Services Chairman Levin (D-Mich.) told CNSNews.com that he has not given much thought about whether the legislation would legalize bisexual activity in the military and did not know whether the bill would do so or not.
CNSNews.com asked Levin, “In the House bill, the term sexual orientation includes bisexuality, in the House version of the bill. In your bill, will bisexual activity--
"In my bill?" said Levin. "Ask Lieberman."
"In this bill--," said CNSNews.com.
“I don’t know,” said Levin. “You have to ask Lieberman because I just don’t know the answer.”
CNSNews.com then asked Levin, “Do you support legalizing bisexual activity and homosexual activity in the military?”
Senator Levin said: “I haven't given enough thought to it. I'd have to give much more thought to it. I don't know. I’d just have to give a lot more thought to it. It’s not something I have focused on.”