WASHINGTON – NCSF is disappointed with the decision against Gregory T. Miles, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, by the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, which upheld the convictions of consensual attempted sodomy and indecent acts. As NCSF previously stated in its Amicus brief, accepted by the Court in March, 2014:
- Regarding the “indecent acts” conviction (Article 120(k)), the Court ignores the fact that this provision is explicitly, on its face, inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s holding in Lawrence v. Texas that a criminal statute cannot be predicated on moral disapproval, but rather must protect a legitimate societal interest. Article 120(k)’s definition of “indecent acts” is specifically keyed to moral disapproval.
- The court’s analysis of the Lawrence treatment of sodomy is incorrect. The issue is not whether Lawrence made sodomy a “fundamental right,” the issue is whether sodomy can be criminally prosecuted, a very different thing.
- Also, to equate “open and notorious” with Lawrence’s use of the word “public” is to play with words. As demonstrated in the NCSF Amicus brief, the Supreme Court’s statement that Lawrence does not deal with “public conduct” cannot rationally be read to mean that commission of sodomy in public can be prosecuted as sodomy (as opposed to, say, public lewdness).
- Lastly, the Court’s statements on the forcible conduct charges are simply astonishing: “acquittal on criminal charges does not prove that the defendant is innocent; it merely proves the existence of a reasonable doubt as to his guilt.”
Despite this defeat, NCSF remains committed to supporting the decision made in Lawrence and will continue to fight against moral interpretations of the law.
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom