From Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, June 26, 2003:

In 2001, a blue ribbon panel of military law
experts called for repeal of the sodomy statute on the fiftieth anniversary
of the UCMJ, calling its enforcement “arbitrary, even vindictive.”

The armed forces have discharged almost 9,000 service members for being
lesbian, gay or bisexual since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was adopted ten
years ago. The reason for each discharge has been homosexual conduct.

“An open question,” according to SLDN Executive Director C. Dixon Osburn, “is whether future courts will
invoke the doctrine of military deference and avoid the underlying issue of
the constitutionality of either the federal sodomy statute or ‘Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell.'”

Writing for today’s majority, Justice Kennedy ruled that the “right to
liberty under the Due Process Clause gives … the full right to engage in
private conduct without government intervention.” Kennedy further stated
that, regarding lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans, “The state cannot
demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private
sexual conduct a crime.”

“SLDN will look closely at today’s ruling and work with other legal experts
to determine what role it may have in tearing down the walls to equality in
our armed forces,” said Osburn.

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