Virginia Lawmaker Wants To Ban “Active Homosexuals” From Serving In National Guard
Virginia Delegate Robert G. Marshall says states have the right to bar gays from serving in National Guard units, and so he is responding to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by introducing a bill that would ensure “the effect of the 1994 federal law banning active homosexuals from America’s military forces will apply to the Virginia National Guard.”
“With the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ President Obama seeks to pay back his homosexual political supporters,” the Prince William County Republican said, echoing a sentiment shared by many of the repeal’s most ardent opponents. “This policy will weaken military recruitment and retention, and will increase pressure for a military draft.”
“The Constitution never would have been ratified if states were not [guaranteed] unqualified control of the militia, now called the National Guard,” he said.
Here is another case where conservatives believe state rights can trump federal law.
But Claire Gastanaga, legislative counsel for Equality Virginia, a gay-rights group, said the National Guard is a federal military unit subject to the same rules as other federal military units and that “any state statute seeking to set different standards for the Virginia National Guard would be a nullity with no effect.”
“It is a shame that Delegate Marshall would dishonor the brave men and women serving in our National Guard by seeking to make political points at their expense and waste the time of his colleagues in the Virginia General Assembly, who have pressing matters to attend to, like balancing the budget and finding solutions to the traffic problems that are the real and present concern of his constituents,” she said.
Marshall is “seriously considering” challenging Jim Webb for his Senate seat in 2012. In 2006 he led an effort to amend the Virginia state constitution to define marriage as being the union of a man and a woman. He believes the mores of 1776 are applicable now.
“Gen. Washington did not tolerate personal behavior by his troops that was incompatible with the character traits he expected from his soldiers in exercising their military duty,” he said. “In March of 1778, Washington discharged, via public rebuke, a soldier who had attempted a homosexual act with another soldier and then lied about it under oath.”
Back then blacks weren’t tolerated in the military. Women weren’t tolerated in the voting booth. And Delegate Marshall’s views shouldn’t be tolerated in 2011.Click here for reuse options!
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