White House press secretary Jay Carney has received a scolding from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for refusing to respond to a question at the daily news briefing Monday.

The question was raised by Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House and the second-most senior reporter on the White House beat. It concerned an effort in Congress to change laws so that its decision to allow homosexuals who publicly acknowledge their sexual orientation to serve in the military succeeds.

Toward that end, members of the U.S. Senate agreed to repeal Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice,

according to a report from Alan Colmes on his “Presents Liberaland” website

The section bans sodomy with same- or opposite-sex partners as well as bestiality.

When Kinsolving raised the question, Carnery’s response was, “Let’s get to something more serious.”

A letter today from PETA’s director of communications, Colleen O’Brien, to Carney suggested that “this is no laughing matter.”

“In watching last night’s news briefing, we were upset to note that you flippantly addressed the recently approved repeal of the military ban on bestiality. With respect, this is no laughing matter. Our office has been flooded with calls from Americans who are upset that this ban has been repealed – and for good reason,” wrote O’Brien.

“As we outlined in the attached letter sent yesterday to the secretary of defense, animal abuse does not affect animals only – it is also a matter of public safety, as people who abuse animals very often go on to abuse human beings.”

She continued, “I hope that in the future, you will address important issues with sensitivity and not dismiss them with a joke.”

The organization’s letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the situation was an emergency:

“PETA is being inundated with complaints regarding the inadvertent removal of an anti-bestiality provision from the Uniform Code of Military Justice, stripping away what minimal protection the UCMJ afforded ‘non-public’ (i.e., non-service) animals. This change means that bestiality charges can now be filed only at the discretion of superior officers – under a catch-all provision of the UCMJ prohibiting behavior unbecoming a service member,” wrote Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA.

“As you no doubt know, mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies consider cruelty to animals a red flag in the psychiatric repertoire of antisocial and sociopathic behavior. The American Psychiatric Association identifies all forms of animal abuse as diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of animal abuse in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

“Further, a 2002 study by Jory, Flemming, and Burton shows that 96 percent of offenders who had engaged in bestiality also admitted to sexual assaults on humans. Animal abuse is very much an issue of community safety, and the degree to which we take these crimes seriously can be measured by the strength of our laws.”

The letter seeks a “zero tolerance” policy for cruelty to animals.

The move in Congress regarding sodomy and bestiality comes in the wake of Washington’s decision to authorize open homosexuality, which was banned for centuries, in the U.S. military.

The provision, still not approved by the House, would overturn the section that, according to Colmes, makes it “illegal to engage in both sodomy with humans and sex with animals.”

“It states: ‘(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.… Any person found guilty … shall be punished as a court-martial may direct,'” the website posting stated.

O’Brien told WND that her organization was pretty “astounded” that no lawmaker “thought to check what was attached to the sodomy provision.”

“They now are aware of this. We wrote to Leon Panetta. Now the government, the military needs to take action to fix it.”

CNSNews.com has reported it got started last month when a U.S. Senate committee voted to approve a defense authorization plan that included the repeal.

The report said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council tied the vote to the repeal of the military’s longstanding practice of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, under which homosexuals were not removed from the service if they did not make a public issue of their sexual lifestyle.

“It’s all about using the military to advance this administration’s radical social agenda,” he told CNSNews.com. “Not only did they overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but they had another problem, and that is, under military law sodomy is illegal, just as adultery is illegal, so they had to remove that.”

Kinsolving had asked, “The Family Research Council and CNS News both reported a 93-to-7 U.S. Senate vote to approve a defense authorization bill that, quote, ‘includes a provision which not only repeals the military law on sodomy, but also repeals the military ban on sex with animals, or bestiality.’ Does the commander in chief approve or disapprove of bestiality in our armed forces?”

Carney said, “I don’t have any comment on – I don’t have any comment on that. Let me go to another question.”

See the questions:

Kinsolving tried to ask whether the president thought it would be endorsed by animal support groups, and Carney said, “Let’s get to something more serious.”

Other reporters took advantage of the opportunity to poke fun both at Carney and Kinsolving.

“You sure you don’t want to ask Lester another question? Give him another opportunity?” one asked Carney.

“I’ve learned my lesson,” Carney replied.

Ask President Obama your own question.

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