Op/Ed: Bob Marshall’s All Straight Militia?
While many were celebrating the victory over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the Senate, and ultimately the White House, one Virginia legislator was busy with a plan of his own.
State delegate R-Bob Marshall, upon hearing the victory of the bill, began drafting state legislation which he plans to present when the General Assembly convenes in 2011. If implemented, this legislation will bar “active” homosexuals from serving in Virginia’s National Guard.
According to Marshall, Virginia is able to adopt the ban because of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution. He believes this Article gives states the power to form their own militias; militias which are known today as the National Guard. Marshall also believes he has history on his side regarding gays and military membership.
As far as the Constitution goes, Marshall may have a battle on his hands arguing that the states reserve more power over the militias than the federal government. Provisions such as Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1 and 16 of the Constitution give states the authority to train the militias (National Guard) and appoint officers among other things.
Ultimately Congress holds the power to organize, arm, and discipline the militia, but their powers are limited during peacetime, as stated by the Article. Not to mention his belief that openly gay service members will have an affect on reenlistment rates is merely speculation.
He thinks that allowing “active” gays to serve openly will lower reenlistment rates and keep non-military members from enlisting altogether. According to Marshall, the lower interest in the military and would preempt the return of the draft. These conclusions were made in spite of the survey results gathered from military members that showed the opposite.
Now I’ve heard a lot of gay-bashing in my day, but now we’re going to be responsible for the reinstatement of the draft?
So do you have a picture of who this guy is? An uptight history buff who doesn’t believe in change, but I guess I shouldn’t expect people to change that much. After all this is the guy who has voted against virtually every piece of legislation that promised equal rights for homosexuals.
If we use this logic and apply it to equal-rights issues prevalent over time, where would we be today?
Caucasian males would hold supreme authority over the nation, African Americans would still be the country’s most valuable “asset”, and women would be confined to chores and birthing babies. Could Delegate Marshall be suggesting a return to the way things were? Maybe this is the delegate’s last ditch effort at gaining ground for a much-coveted, Senate seat?
Furthermore could a falling trend in reenlistment rates be attributed to negative attitudes towards the current war?
Born and raised in Petersburg, VA, Anthony works as a State Farm Account Representative in Enterprise Rent-A-Car's Insurance Operations Department. In his spare time he can often be found wandering aimlessly, with camera in tow, snapping away. He's also a member of, the Richmond-based, Fools Day Comedy Troupe. Read his personal blog here and follow him on Twitter.
“If you vote for the bill and it ends up passing you are rolling back protections from a quarter of state employees,”February 11, 2016
- Del. Bob Marshall’s bill to remove protections for LGBTQ teachers and students passes House subcommittee, February 5, 2016
- Two delegates aim to undo protections for LGBTQ students and teachers across the Commonwealth, January 7, 2016
- Virginia’s most famous anti-LGBTQ delegate offers vague bill aiming to curb state protections for LGBTQs, December 9, 2015
- Prev DADT Signed, McDonnell Reacts To Marshall
- Next ACLU’s Letter To Bob Marshall
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