‘On What?’--McCain Says He Didn’t Know Defense Bill He Approved Repealed Military Ban on Sodomy, Bestiality

December 7, 2011 - 5:31 PM
Sen. John McCain and Sen. Carl Levin

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) and Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain conferring at a committee hearing. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CNSNews.com on Wednesday that he did not know that the 926-page Defense Department authorization bill that came through his committee and was approved by the Senate last week on a 93-to-7 vote included a provision that would repeal the military’s ban on sodomy and bestiality if the bill becomes law.

CNSNews.com asked McCain: “Senator, did you read the Defense authorization bill that was passed last week? Were you aware of the language that repealed the ban on sodomy and bestiality?”

“On what?” McCain replied.

CNSNews.com followed up: “The repeal of the ban on sodomy and bestiality in the military, were you at all aware of that?”

“I’ll have to ask my folks,” McCain said.  “I—I will check on it and have, and he’ll get back to you.”

CNSNews.com then asked: “You don’t agree with that language?”

“I don’t, I don’t know what you’re—honestly.  I read the bill.  And I was there for many hours of deliberation and debate and amendments.  And probably spent hundreds of, several hundred hours on it.  But that particular provision I did not know.  So we’ll have, we’ll get back to you. We’ll get back to you. Just call.”

As CNSNews.com previously reported, the bill that was first approved by the Armed Service Committee, where McCain is ranking member, and then on the Senate floor, where McCain voted for it, does in fact include a provision repealing the military’s ban on sodomy and bestiality.

Page 174 of the bill includes a provision headlined in capital letters: “REPEAL OF SODOMY ARTICLE.”  Click here to see a PDF of the page.

The provision states: “Section 925 of such title (article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice) is repealed.” Click here to see the language of the provision as posted on Uniform Code of Miltary Justice website.

Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which anyone can find by doing a Google search, says: “(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense. (b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

After the interview with Sen. McCain, CNSnews.com followed up with his office, as the senator suggested, asking why McCain had not been aware of the provision that woud repeal the military's ban on sodomy and bestiality and, now that he was aware of the provision, whether he supported it. McCain's office did not immediately respond.

To see the full roll call on the 93 to 7 vote approving the bill that included the provision to repeal the ban on sodomy and bestiality in the military click here.