March 11, 2007
'The real 11 inches' on Matt Sanchez
Posted by: Chris
Matt Sanchez may have left his gay porn-escort past behind him, but it is coming back to haunt, and I don't mean angry Ann Coulter phone calls. The Navy Times reports that the U.S. Marines have begun a probe — er, investigation:
Homosexual behavior is prohibited by an article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that forbids “sodomy.”
As a member of the [Individual Ready Reserves], Sanchez falls under the authority of Marine Corps Mobilization Command in Kansas City, Mo., where the commanding general’s staff judge advocate, Lt. Col. Michael Blessing, has begun an inquiry into the revelations about his past, according to command spokesman Shane Darbonne.
“We’re looking into it and we’re going to verify facts and determine if any further action is warranted,” Darbonne said.
As of Friday afternoon, officials at Marine Forces Reserve in New Orleans were unable to confirm whether Sanchez had enlisted prior to the end of his film career or if Reserve Marines were prohibited from doing porn when not in a drilling status. Sanchez has not returned phone calls seeking comment. He joined the Corps May 14, 2003 and is a refrigeration mechanic.
On Friday officials at Marine Corps Recruiting Command were unable to say whether past participation in gay porn disqualifies a potential enlistee because it was unclear how the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy might apply.
If liberal and gay bloggers can get over their (understandable) glee at the fact that O'Reilly-Coulter-Hannity put a gay porn star on their right-wing pedestal, the real focus of the Sanchez flap ought to be here. Or, as Matt Foreman of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force put it, this is "the real 11 inches" of the Matt Sanchez story. Says Foreman:
There’s no inherent contradiction between Matt Sanchez being pro-military and being part of the ‘adult film’ industry. The real hypocrisy expresses itself in two different and important ways. First, the failed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law requires Matt Sanchez and thousands of other loyal Americans to hide their sexual orientation to serve their country in the military.
The important 11 inches in this story? That is the approximate distance between berths on U.S. naval submarines, so defamatorily measured in front of TV cameras by then-Sen. Sam Nunn in 1993, who immorally intimated that openly gay service members could not be permitted to bunk next to straight service members. From that shameful episode, Nunn led Congress to adopt the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ law, which should now be repealed. Let’s be done with officially enforced closets.
It's not a juicy hypocrisy, but it's certainly wrongheaded, that adult consensual sodomy between two people of the same sex is still a crime under the Military Code of Justice, almost four years after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down civilian sodomy laws.
It's little known outside legal circles that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" actually depends on that military sodomy law. Since the Clinton Justice Department (9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick in particular) wanted to hide how the policy is actually based on the "status" of being gay, they constructed it to be based on "conduct," in particular the UMCJ prohibition on "homosexual conduct."
So now Sanchez might get caught up in "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," even though he's not technically "telling," since he claims he was so "bad at being gay" that he isn't anymore. (Huh?) Ironically, that ludicrous defense just might work. There's a loophole that allows a service member to stay even after being identified as gay if they can prove that they have no "predilection" for future homosexual conduct.
Let's hope this whole ridiculous house of cards comes tumbling down when the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston considers an appeal in a suit challenging the policy brought by the gay vets and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Or maybe the Democratically-controlled Congress will step up to the plate, and listen to a much more impressive handsome gay Latino Marine — Eric Alva, the first American injured in the 2003 invasion of Iraq — and repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
It's disappointing that Sanchez hasn't added his voice to that call, perhaps because he still hopes to curry favor with those conservatives who've been so accepting of his porn past. Whether or not he is actually gay — and Andy Towle is insisting he as "pretty good at it" back in the day — Sanchez ought to know as well as anyone that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is unfair, and may well result in his own ouster.
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