Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gender, Sexuality and the Military

The Duke Journal of Gender, Law & Policy has just published an issue devoted to current issues of gender and sexuality in the U.S. military. It includes 10 articles, 2 notes, and 2 sets of transcribed conference remarks that focus on the "don't ask/don't tell" policy.
In this issue, fighter pilot and Air Force colonel Martha McSally challenges the restrictions on women in combat; Diane H. Mazur discusses "military values" in the context of women's integration; Elaine Donnelly, per usual, laments the impact of gender integration; and Kingsley R. Browne concludes his article "Military Sex Scandals from Tailhook to the Present: The Cure Can Be Worse than the Disease" by asking "Can women take care of themselves, or can't they?". Clearly, the debate on women's military service has not progressed as far as it should have after so many years of women under arms.
Also notable is Walter T. Cox III 's (senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces) treatment of military consensual sex crimes, which points out that a massive overhaul of the military rape statute, Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), goes into effect on October 1, 2007. The new statute is a long overdue attempt to update the sexual misconduct provisions of the UCMJ. When Congress changed this law, it left the military sodomy statute (Article 125 of the UCMJ) intact despite many calls for change in the wake of the Supreme Court's holding in Lawrence v. Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003).

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