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National Defense Authorization Act: Pentagon Defends Sodomy Rule Change

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In this image provided by the U.S. Army, headquarters for U.S. Department of Defense, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Joint Chiefs of Staff in Arlington, Va., just across Potomac River from Washington, D.C., in an undated photo. (AP Photo/U.S. Army) | AP

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon says sex with animals would still be illegal even if Congress repeals a military rule on sodomy.

Conservative groups are upset over a proposed change in the defense bill that would eliminate Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The code states that any person who engages in "unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy." Those found guilty of sodomy would be subject to court martial.

The Pentagon said in a statement Friday that all animal abuse, including bestiality, would be considered "prejudicial to good order and discipline" and covered by another section of the military code. Court martial would still be in order.

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