Senate Defense Bill Passed Out of Committee

Posted by Chris Geidner
June 17, 2011 11:50 AM |

On Thursday, June 16, the Senate Armed Services Committee complete its work on the National Defense Authorization Act, announcing on Friday morning that it had been unanimously approved by the committee.

None of the three amendments opposed by LGBT advocates that were adopted by the House in its version of the bill earlier this year are listed in a comprehensive summary of the SASC bill that that committee issued (pdf) this morning. Among the provisions in the bill, however, according to the committee's summary, is one that "repeals Article 125 of the UCMJ, relating to the offense of sodomy."

According to Servicemembers United, which issued a news release about the bill this morning, the bill "contains none of the reactionary and distracting amendments related to the repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law that were inserted into the House version of the bill, and also would repeal the outdated and widely ignored prohibition on sodomy between consenting adults."

Among the House amendments was a DADT-related amendment, proposed in the House Armed Services Committee by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), that would expand the required certification process for repeal -- which already includes the president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- to include the sign-off of the service branch chiefs of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. Two other amendments would reaffirm or expand the Defense of Marriage Act.

SASC chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has scheduled a conference call with reporters for noon to discuss the committee's bill.

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