UCMJ – United States Code of Military Justice


10. Punitive Articles

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

42 Comments for this entry

  • Marc

    If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been repealed, how can this rule still be enforced?

    • Nathan Myers

      Actually, it can’t be enforced and the new Defense bill passed recently fepaled it. Now soldiers can have sex with who or whatever they want.

      • Politically Agnostic

        Have to disagree with the comment “Now soldiers can have sex with who or whatever they want.”

        PETA would disagree with you rather strongly in your assertion that copulation with animals is permitted as your statement impilies. (For once I’m in agreement with PETA??!!–now I know for sure the world is in the fast lane to hell).

        • Michael BUrns

          Sorry, but PETA has nothing to do with law and has no enforcement capability. The UCMJ already provides that LOCAL laws must also be followed, so don’t worry yourself too much about it.

          Nothing at all to do with PETA though. Just a bunch of loudmouths.


      in the case of rape or molestation

    • SGT

      Because it says same or opposite sex. DADT wouldn’t apply.

    • Johansson

      The rules would still apply. Usually anal would not apply it covers more of forced sodomy, which would also fall under the rape category.

  • Marine

    According to this link: http://www.sldn.org/content/pages/the-uniform-code-of-military-justice-ucmj, the National Defense Authorization Act includes the removal of Article 125 from the UCMJ. As of December.1.2011, Senate approved the NDAA (93-7 votes). As long as President Obama does not veto the act, LGB service members will be free to their own will without NJP/Discharge worries.

  • Eric

    Article 118(4) needs amending to match the new language of Article 125.

  • William Lee

    With the NEW Defense authorization bill, this whole section has been changed. If you doubt me check out page 174 of the new bill.
    Compare what’s above with what the law NOW says.

  • Edward Vierheller

    Article 125, as clarified by the Manual for Courts-Martial, makes fellatio, cunnilingus, and anal copulation – normal sexual practices for heterosexuals and, in part, for homosexuals – violations, indeed court-martial violations, of the UCMJ, effectively mandating, for persons subject to the UCMJ, vaginal copulation only for heterosexuals and no copulation for male homosexuals. Although the article isn’t, I’m sure, applied in the case of consenting adults, now fortunately including male homosexual adults, it’s nonetheless shocking to find such perverse language in a 21st century code of laws.

    • Charles Courtnay

      What a husband and wife do sexually in the presence of their own home. Is their business and no one else’s business. It does not matter what the UCMJ says is right and wrong. GOD says what is right and wrong. Not all of the UCMJ goes along with God’s word. If the UCMJ went along with the Bible we would be better off.

      What is wrong with the language. Why do you think their is so much disinformation in this world concerning sexual activity? Because we do not talk about sex as God intended. There is nothing wrong with sexual activity. God created sex to be enjoyed by a husband and wife. Anything created in the image of God is not wrong. Why not have fun when making babies? It is supposed to be that way.

      • Jordan

        Exactly! lol You should have fun ruining your life…kids suck ass sometimes. i have a baby now and an 8 year old…i still love them tho but damn…they can make life super difficult. I cant wait til they are old enough to have kids so they can understand my frustrations haha

  • Concerned Citizen

    Actually, the recent HASC version struck repeal of this article. It’s provision is not related to DADT because regardless of who perpetrates or under what circumstances the act occurs it is reprehensible, unhealthy, unnatural, and uncivilized and thus should be illegal.

  • retired senior citizen

    Wouldn’t it be great if our Politicans were to read the bill(s) they’re passing on the rest of us & not wait until its the law. ex.The Healthcare bill among others.

  • Airman

    Really? Reprehensible? Unnatural? Simply, if you don’t like it, don’t do it. Humans are not the only animals on the planet that engage in homosexual sex nor the only ones that have oral and anal sex. As long as the participants are consenting, I don’t care if they want to shoot each other with hard-boiled eggs from a potato gun while swinging from a rope dressing Jell-O outfits. it doesn’t affect anyone else, let it be.

    • Austin Doucet

      Homosexuality is intellectually and morally offensive to me. I see no socio-biological advantage in the propagation of homosexual rhetoric and progressive philosophy associated with it.
      There is no justification for sodomy. In the animal kingdom, it only occurs sporadically and most often as a result of abnormal hormonal releases and/or disadvantageous instinctual modification (genetic mutation leading to mental and hormonal problems in the animal, resulting in a “confused” sexual role.
      For the most part, from data I have periodically observed in anthropology, homosexuality results from an altered state of mind and hormonal disorders or “misfirings” (i.e. Males releasing or forcibly injecting/ingesting estrogen and females releasing or forcibly injecting/ingesting testosterone).

      • BigG

        Unfortunately for your theory, no other animal fires guns—should shooting be prohibited in the military? Human society makes up the rules, and many societies have survived for long periods with rules that differ from yours. “Right” is whatever a society says it is. On a practical level, homosexuality does not harm a society—after all, Greek society in the ancient world surpassed all others at the time, and for a long time after, despite its acceptance of homosexuality. I’m not gay, but I don’t believe I have the right to impose my preferences on someone else. Your’s are simply preferences as well, albeit clothed in religion. You’re entitled to your beliefs, you’re NOT entitled to impose them on others.

    • Charles Courtnay

      Only humans engage in homosexual activity. I have never seen dogs, cats, deer, monkeys or any other animal engage in such egregious acts of impropriety. If animals acted in such a way. It would be recorded in some journal of animal science somewhere. I can find no such record, anywhere. Only humans can think up such depravity. If God calls people who participate in such debauchery as having a depraved and reprobate mind. Then it is wrong. If homosexuality were allowable God would say so in his word. As it is, God says that individuals who commit such sinful acts will not inherit the kingdom of God. There are at least a dozen places in God’s word that state that homosexuality and it’s variances are sinful behavior. If I were to become President. The first thing I would do is to enact legislation repealing all of these actions and make homosexuality and all such related activities illegal. Heterosexual activity outside of marriage would get the same treatment. No one has the right to openly sin against almighty GOD!

      • BigG

        Who’s God are you referring to? Yahweh, Allah, Jove, Zeus, Odin, the Pharoe, the Great Spirit, the Emporer, the Great Pumpkin? Man has the need to create gods in his own image—but none is real, any more than Casper the Friendly Ghost is real. Only when we wake up and realize we are the ONLY ones responsible for ourselves and our future will we begin behaving as responsible adults. God is a myth that destroys, not saves, humans. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the burning of thousands of “witches”, and the suppression of intelligent inquiry that contradicts the Bible are just some of the crimes we can lay at the feet of your “God”… Read the Old Testament (where the homosexual prohibitions originate), about Yahweh ordering the murder of men, WOMEN, CHILDREN, BABIES, and LIVESTOCK. If that’s the source of your morality, your being fooled.

      • D

        Actually many animals have homosexual relations. Dolphins, horses, cattle, Bison,

  • Carl

    This is still in The UCMJ. It was reinstalled. You can be gay, if you want. This remains for good reason. It is wrong for normal soldiers, as well. I question the political motivations for allowing openly gay people. It is clearly a health issue, as one of the reasons, as well as a moral issue. Just don’t do it.

  • coptrnr1

    This code has not been repealed as a matter of law but cannot be charged to CONSENTING ADULTS which is the key. It CAN STILL be charged if the aforementioned sexual acts were committed during the commission of an otherwise unlawful act such as in addition to a rape or sexual conduct with a minor where the military has jurisdiction etc. This section is no longer applicable to consenting gay/bi/straight members of the military as long as it was under consenting circumstances excluding beastiality which there is no lawful “consent” defense. Just sayin’ to clarify that this is comparable to when the US Supreme Court overturned Texas sodomy laws a few years ago which effectively ended prosecution of homosexuals primarily for consensual acts. Peace officers can still charge sodomy or “crime against nature” laws when it involves children or non consensual sex.

  • joenavy

    actually it can be enforced, even with the repeal of the dont ask dont tell. as a former corrections counselor i can honestly say that this law was being enforced for everyone for years straight or gay. i had wives and girlfriends who turned in their spouses and boyfriends for things they did in bed the night before. once they are arrested and charged it goes to the convening authority for a decision on whether it goes to court martial. every case i observed wound up in a conviction.

  • seargeant disappointed

    Goodbye sweet America. We are on our way to the punishment of Sodom and Gamora now that we as a nation officially approve sodomy

  • kelly kafir

    And GOATS too!!

  • Pierced Rooster

    This is rediculous! The government should not be allowed to regulate what goes on between consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes. What is so wrong about fellatio or cunnilingus? To call it a “crime against nature” is to tread dangerously close to religious dogma that was developed thousands of years ago which has no place in the governing body of the United States military.

    • Alvin Gallegos

      In reality you’d need to reject other moral laws in the UCMJ to validate your consensuality argument. Adultery with an officer’s wife and an enlisted man is one. If they’re consenting then it should be allowed. Morality, morality.


    Here is the deal! Forget Don’t Ask Don’t tell. This Article (125)sodomy still can be used or added to other charges if a soldier has rapped someone of age or underage a soldier. They will not totally do away with this article.

  • Joe Veteran

    This is why I love being a veteran.

    All the oral and anal that I want.

    Funny, but I learned to be more of a freak during active duty. Sad as I was never given a UCMJ guide that would’ve spelled out what I couldn’t do.

  • scaloni

    Homosexuality and sodomy are sins, reprehensible in the eyes of the living God, so no matter what man says is “ok” to do, remember that you will pay a price, in your own body, and with your soul, for practicing this – there is forgiveness if you repent

    • steve

      Laws should be about ethics not morality, in other words morality measured against some basis of logic. The living god, your god, my god, no gods should matter.
      The wording of this article is pathetic.
      All sex is natural, regardless how freakish it is, by the simple fact that anything else would suggest some supernatural forces involved. If the later is accepted as possible, than we must ethically accept that man thus cannot be held responsible for supernatural activities, and thus not held accountable for unnatural sexual acts. I therefor assert that only super natural beings can actually break this article. Accepting this gets into a much more problematic stance.
      The flaw is not in the ignorance of man, but in if God was so wise how then could man so easily misinterpret his messages?

  • James F

    The article does not apply solely to same-sex activity, it also equally restricts the sexual activity between opposite gender persons, as well that with animals. Moreover, regardless of sexual preference, military members are held to higher moral standards–for instance, see article prohibiting adultery (i.e. extra-marital affair), which is not illegal in the civilian sphere. Engaging in “unnatural carnal copulation” is still dishonorable and degrading to both human dignity and that of the U.S. Armed Forces, regardless of whether the precautions of DADT are still active or not.

  • "Seargeant Disappointed" is a dumbass

    Haha can’t even spell “Sergeant.” It really convinces me that you are one. What are you searing??

  • "Seargeant Disappointed" is a dumbass

    hahaha at “Seargeant Disappointed.” Can’t even spell “Sergeant” correctly. Really makes me believe that you are one. What are you searing??

  • Old MP

    This article is verbatim the old “common law” definition. If you know much about common law, many times the elements of the crime must be looked up in other references such as the Manual for Courts Martial, case law, and other applicable laws and regulations.

    New military regulations have essentially eliminanted any consentual sexual act between adults (including homosexual)as unlawful.

    Sodomy (or any sexual penetration other than penis-vagina) will remain on the book primarily for non-consentual applications.



  • Lt. Col. C.M. Ashleigh

    As a matter of law, the entire article has been repealed and rewritten. I am not sure why this is not reflected herein. It has little to do with the president’s decision to overturn DOTD. It has more to do with the Supreme Court’s affirmative ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. Given the Supreme Court’s rulings are final and binding, the military must alter its codes to coincide with federal law.

    The archaic wording of the law is baffling and quite unusual, as if it was plucked out of 19th Century Maritime England. It matters little at the end of the day since the Supreme Court has ruled sodomy as a lawful act as long as it is between two consenting adults.

  • US Citizen

    Please update the page regarding Article 125 of the UCMJ. It is outdated and misleading.


    H.R. 3304 page 290, Section 1707 Repeal of the offense of consensual sodomy under the uniform code of military justice: Changes the definition of article 125.

    Here is a link to H.R. 3304 National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2014 https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/3304/text

    PDF: https://www.congress.gov/113/bills/hr3304/BILLS-113hr3304enr.pdf

  • J. Holland

    “In unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.”
    Your Newly Appointed Secretary of Army is a Homosexual as of 09/21/2015

  • JustAnotherMarine

    Okay, um, what? Is this regarding rape or just any type of Sodomy. If you consent to sex and claim to be a huge whore who’s been doing this for years, the guy may assume you’ve done butt stuff and slightly stick it in your butt, and she goes “WHAT THE HELL, NO!” and he retrieves, can he still be charged with sodomy because it was slight penetration?

    I just have to ask. Straight up.

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