- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 18, 2010

Former Rep. Eric Massa, New York Democrat, is a good example of why homosexuals and bisexuals should not be allowed to serve in the military (“The no-quarter Congress,” Opinion, Tuesday).

Mr. Massa graduated from the Naval Academy in 1981 and spent 24 years on active duty, retiring as a commander. In addition to claims that he sexually molested male members of his congressional staff, it has been reported in the New York Daily News that at least one officer who served on a ship with him woke up when then-Lt. Cmdr. Massa was attempting to have relations with him, but the officer was afraid to report it because Mr. Massa was a senior officer. Of course, by then the Navy was under former President Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which made many sailors reluctant to report such behavior, even if there was no rank issue.

This is no different from male sailors sexually assaulting female sailors, but the Navy has separate berthing for men and women and operates under the presumption that both sexes are heterosexual. Not even that system is foolproof. I was the lawyer for the USS Canopus in 1986 and court-martialed a sailor who had broken into female berthing. A woman he picked at random awoke to find him in her bed in a compromising position. He got some jail time and a bad-conduct discharge.

I only wish Mr. Massa had been on my ship and his behavior reported to me. He definitely would not be drawing a lifetime Navy retirement and might not have been able to get elected to Congress.

CMDR. WAYNE L. JOHNSON



Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy (retired)

Alexandria, Va.

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