Marshall Files Legislation For National Guard Ban
Delegate Bob Marshall filed his bill that would ban openly gay men and women from serving in Virginia’s National Guard. The full text is available on Virginia’s Legislative Information System.
The bill uses the term homosexual 20 times and also serves as a primer about previous discharges in U.S. history. Delegate Joe Morrissey has proposed counter legislation. Also, an employment protection bill from Senator Donald McEachin would make the legislation below dead-on-arrival.
From Marshall’s bill:
11. A state may have different eligibility standards for membership in a State’s National Guard than for membership in the Armed Forces of the United States (e.g., education, driving record, drug use, criminal record, age, and other criteria). Such eligibility standards are not within the power of the U.S. Congress because they are not matters of “discipline.” “training,” “arming” or “organizing” the Militia, or National Guard. At present, the Virginia National Guard and the U. S. Army have different eligibility admission criteria than the Armed Forces of the United States, and the Commonwealth of Virginia has authority to determine whether or not an active, open and practicing homosexual should serve in the Virginia National Guard. There is no constitutional right to serve in the National Guard.
14. Success in combat requires military units that are characterized by high morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion. One of the most critical elements in combat capability is unit cohesion, that is, the bonds of trust among individual service members that make the combat effectiveness of a military unit greater than the sum of the combat effectiveness of the individual unit members.
A. In 1993, at a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Dr. William Henderson, former commander of the Army Research Institute, and author of Cohesion: The Human Element in Combat, testified that unit cohesion is the condition which makes soldiers “…willing to risk death to achieve a common objective.” Dr. Henderson testified that introducing service members who acknowledge that they engage in same sex behavior into units with soldiers opposed to homosexuality would seriously impair cohesion.
B. Dr. David Marlow, then chief of military psychiatry, Walter Reed Army Institute Research, testified that, “The impact on cohesion depended on two things: whether or not [there was] knowledge that people were homosexual, [and] whether or not they brought overt homosexual behaviors into the group.”
C. A Military Working Group, appointed in 1993 by Defense Secretary Les Aspin found it would be very difficult for an open homosexual to exercise authority or serve effectively as a leader since the values and lifestyle might be perceived as contrary to those in the unit. “That ineffectiveness would be further undermined by perceptions of unfairness or [same sex] fraternization.”
D. The report concludes that once an individual’s homosexuality is known, the Military Working Group concluded that allowing open homosexuals in an environment of forced association and limited privacy will constitute “…a major and unacceptable invasion of what little privacy remains.”
19. The prohibition against active and or open homosexual conduct is a longstanding element of American military law is of long standing.
A. On March 11, 1778, Gen. George Washington drummed out of service Lt. Gotthold F. Enslin, the first soldier to be dismissed from the U.S. military for homosexuality.
B. After 1900, military personnel were punished for committing homosexual acts, usually categorized as sodomy. Prior to World War II, Homosexual behavior was prosecuted as “conduct unbecoming an officer” or, for enlisted members as “conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.”
C. The Articles of War in 1916 under President Woodrow Wilson established an article prohibiting the offense of sodomy. In the Manual for Courts-Martial, Congress included consensual sodomy as Article 93 of the Articles of War. Also, unit commanders could discharge soldiers for “inaptness or for undesirable habits” (Section VIII of Army Regulation 615-200).
D. During World War II under President Roosevelt, the Army developed a medical approach to discharge for homosexuality. In 1947 under President Truman, the Army’s policy was revised to discharge soldiers identified as having “homosexual tendencies.”14
E. In 1950, the Army’s policy under President Truman stated, “True, confirmed, or habitual homosexual personnel, irrespective of sex, will not be permitted to serve in the army in any capacity and prompt separation of known homosexuals from the army is mandatory.”
F. In 1978 under President Carter, the DOD issued the “Report of the Joint Service Administrative Discharge Study Group” which recommended that the military reaffirm the longstanding ban on homosexuals, “Homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” It called for the statement, “Processing (for separation) is mandatory unless … the allegations are groundless,”
E. On January 28, 1982, also under President Carter, the Pentagon published a conduct-based policy, “which authorized separation of persons who by their acts or statements, demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual conduct, and eliminated ‘homosexual tendencies’ as a reason for separation.”
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