ACLU Comment on the National Defense Authorization Act Provisions Related to Sexual Assault and Gender Equity
WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union released the following statement from Vania Leveille, ACLU senior legislative counsel, related to provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act regarding changes to the military justice system and ending discriminatory sex-based registration for the draft:
“We applaud the Senate Armed Services Committee for taking an important step forward to improve the military justice system not only for survivors of military sexual assault but for all service members. As a result of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s leadership, we are moving closer to a military justice system that is free of bias and that treats both complainants and accused people fairly. Although we await details of the proposal, we are hopeful that the legislation will improve service members’ access to justice, safeguard the integrity of the military justice system, and restore confidence in the administration of justice within the military.
“Additionally, as long as the government requires young people to register for the draft, limiting that requirement to men reflects the outdated and sexist notion that women are less fit to serve in the military and that men are less able to stay home as caregivers in the event of an armed conflict. Such stereotypes demean both men and women. This discrimination should have no place in our laws.”
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