From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access
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[Laws in effect as of January 24, 2002]
[Document not affected by Public Laws enacted between
  January 24, 2002 and December 19, 2002]
[CITE: 10USC654]

 
                         TITLE 10--ARMED FORCES
 
                    Subtitle A--General Military Law
 
                           PART II--PERSONNEL
 
                CHAPTER 37--GENERAL SERVICE REQUIREMENTS
 
Sec. 654. Policy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces

    (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
        (1) Section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the United 
    States commits exclusively to the Congress the powers to raise and 
    support armies, provide and maintain a Navy, and make rules for the 
    government and regulation of the land and naval forces.
        (2) There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed 
    forces.
        (3) Pursuant to the powers conferred by section 8 of article I 
    of the Constitution of the United States, it lies within the 
    discretion of the Congress to establish qualifications for and 
    conditions of service in the armed forces.
        (4) The primary purpose of the armed forces is to prepare for 
    and to prevail in combat should the need arise.
        (5) The conduct of military operations requires members of the 
    armed forces to make extraordinary sacrifices, including the 
    ultimate sacrifice, in order to provide for the common defense.
        (6) Success in combat requires military units that are 
    characterized by high morale, good order and discipline, and unit 
    cohesion.
        (7) One of the most critical elements in combat capability is 
    unit cohesion, that is, the bonds of trust among individual service 
    members that make the combat effectiveness of a military unit 
    greater than the sum of the combat effectiveness of the individual 
    unit members.
        (8) Military life is fundamentally different from civilian life 
    in that--
            (A) the extraordinary responsibilities of the armed forces, 
        the unique conditions of military service, and the critical role 
        of unit cohesion, require that the military community, while 
        subject to civilian control, exist as a specialized society; and
            (B) the military society is characterized by its own laws, 
        rules, customs, and traditions, including numerous restrictions 
        on personal behavior, that would not be acceptable in civilian 
        society.

        (9) The standards of conduct for members of the armed forces 
    regulate a member's life for 24 hours each day beginning at the 
    moment the member enters military status and not ending until that 
    person is discharged or otherwise separated from the armed forces.
        (10) Those standards of conduct, including the Uniform Code of 
    Military Justice, apply to a member of the armed forces at all times 
    that the member has a military status, whether the member is on base 
    or off base, and whether the member is on duty or off duty.
        (11) The pervasive application of the standards of conduct is 
    necessary because members of the armed forces must be ready at all 
    times for worldwide deployment to a combat environment.
        (12) The worldwide deployment of United States military forces, 
    the international responsibilities of the United States, and the 
    potential for involvement of the armed forces in actual combat 
    routinely make it necessary for members of the armed forces 
    involuntarily to accept living conditions and working conditions 
    that are often spartan, primitive, and characterized by forced 
    intimacy with little or no privacy.
        (13) The prohibition against homosexual conduct is a 
    longstanding element of military law that continues to be necessary 
    in the unique circumstances of military service.
        (14) The armed forces must maintain personnel policies that 
    exclude persons whose presence in the armed forces would create an 
    unacceptable risk to the armed forces' high standards of morale, 
    good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of 
    military capability.
        (15) The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate 
    a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an 
    unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and 
    discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military 
    capability.

    (b) Policy.--A member of the armed forces shall be separated from 
the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of 
Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in 
accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations:
        (1) That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or 
    solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts unless there 
    are further findings, made and approved in accordance with 
    procedures set forth in such regulations, that the member has 
    demonstrated that--
            (A) such conduct is a departure from the member's usual and 
        customary behavior;
            (B) such conduct, under all the circumstances, is unlikely 
        to recur;
            (C) such conduct was not accomplished by use of force, 
        coercion, or intimidation;
            (D) under the particular circumstances of the case, the 
        member's continued presence in the armed forces is consistent 
        with the interests of the armed forces in proper discipline, 
        good order, and morale; and
            (E) the member does not have a propensity or intent to 
        engage in homosexual acts.

        (2) That the member has stated that he or she is a homosexual or 
    bisexual, or words to that effect, unless there is a further 
    finding, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth 
    in the regulations, that the member has demonstrated that he or she 
    is not a person who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a 
    propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts.
        (3) That the member has married or attempted to marry a person 
    known to be of the same biological sex.

    (c) Entry Standards and Documents.--(1) The Secretary of Defense 
shall ensure that the standards for enlistment and appointment of 
members of the armed forces reflect the policies set forth in subsection 
(b).
    (2) The documents used to effectuate the enlistment or appointment 
of a person as a member of the armed forces shall set forth the 
provisions of subsection (b).
    (d) Required Briefings.--The briefings that members of the armed 
forces receive upon entry into the armed forces and periodically 
thereafter under section 937 of this title (article 137 of the Uniform 
Code of Military Justice) shall include a detailed explanation of the 
applicable laws and regulations governing sexual conduct by members of 
the armed forces, including the policies prescribed under subsection 
(b).
    (e) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in subsection (b) shall be 
construed to require that a member of the armed forces be processed for 
separation from the armed forces when a determination is made in 
accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense 
that--
        (1) the member engaged in conduct or made statements for the 
    purpose of avoiding or terminating military service; and
        (2) separation of the member would not be in the best interest 
    of the armed forces.

    (f) Definitions.--In this section:
        (1) The term ``homosexual'' means a person, regardless of sex, 
    who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage 
    in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts, and includes the terms 
    ``gay'' and ``lesbian''.
        (2) The term ``bisexual'' means a person who engages in, 
    attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to 
    engage in homosexual and heterosexual acts.
        (3) The term ``homosexual act'' means--
            (A) any bodily contact, actively undertaken or passively 
        permitted, between members of the same sex for the purpose of 
        satisfying sexual desires; and
            (B) any bodily contact which a reasonable person would 
        understand to demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in an 
        act described in subparagraph (A).

(Added Pub. L. 103-160, div. A, title V, Sec. 571(a)(1), Nov. 30, 1993, 
107 Stat. 1670.)

                       References in Text

    The Uniform Code of Military Justice, referred to in subsec. 
(a)(10), is classified to chapter 47 (Sec. 801 et seq.) of this title.


  Implementation of Section; Regulations; Savings Provision; Sense of 
                                Congress

    Section 571(b)-(d) of Pub. L. 103-160 provided that:
    ``(b) Regulations.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act [Nov. 30, 1993], the Secretary of Defense shall 
revise Department of Defense regulations, and issue such new regulations 
as may be necessary, to implement section 654 of title 10, United States 
Code, as added by subsection (a).
    ``(c) Savings Provision.--Nothing in this section or section 654 of 
title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), may be 
construed to invalidate any inquiry, investigation, administrative 
action or proceeding, court-martial, or judicial proceeding conducted 
before the effective date of regulations issued by the Secretary of 
Defense to implement such section 654.
    ``(d) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
        ``(1) the suspension of questioning concerning homosexuality as 
    part of the processing of individuals for accession into the Armed 
    Forces under the interim policy of January 29, 1993, should be 
    continued, but the Secretary of Defense may reinstate that 
    questioning with such questions or such revised questions as he 
    considers appropriate if the Secretary determines that it is 
    necessary to do so in order to effectuate the policy set forth in 
    section 654 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection 
    (a); and
        ``(2) the Secretary of Defense should consider issuing guidance 
    governing the circumstances under which members of the Armed Forces 
    questioned about homosexuality for administrative purposes should be 
    afforded warnings similar to the warnings under section 831(b) of 
    title 10, United States Code (article 31(b) of the Uniform Code of 
    Military Justice).''

                  Section Referred to in Other Sections

    This section is referred to in section 983 of this title.


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