Virginia: Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Displeased that the Congress has just overturned the military's infamous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy with regard to gays, the excreable Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) has suggested that he will propose a bill in the 2011 legislative session of the House of Delegates to ban gays from openly serving in the Virginia National Guard. The Washington Post's Virginia politics blog reports some of Marshall's incisive reasoning:
"It's a distraction when I'm on the battlefield and have to concentrate on the enemy 600 yards away and I'm worried about this guy whose got eyes on me," he said.
Happily, according to the Post, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) says he would oppose such a bill:
"While I disagree with the actions of the Congress based on my own experience in the military, but more so the military commanders objections," [McDonnell] said. "We can't have two different systems in the federal and National Guard. … Whatever the final guidelines of the Department of Defense I would expect the National Guard bureau in Virginia to adhere to those rules so we would have one set of rules for the entire military."
The Virginia chapter of the ACLU has sent a letter [PDF] urging Marshall not to introduce such bill, warning that…
…any attempt to exclude service members from the National Guard would be unconstitutional and ill-advised, and would certainly face a federal court challenge.
I long for that glad day when the voters of the 13th district wise up and spare us the bigoted natterings of Marshall.
Go here for my earlier comment on Marshall's bill to outlaw IVF for single women.
Disclosure: My wife and I are members of Equality Virginia and I am still a member of the ACLU.