Sorry Bob Marshall, Your Hate Doesn’t Supersede the Federal
The Washington Post ran an article last week letting Virginians know Governor McDonnell will not try and stop the VA National guard from providing benefits to LGBT Member’s partners. It’s cute that people thought there was an option there, the National Guard, though based and operated at the state level, is still very much a branch of the federal government.
The Pentagon approved benefits for same-sex partners last month, even those not legally married or living in a state that doesn’t recognize a same-sex marriage, guaranteeing these privileges to LGBT service members. But despite this mandate, there was one well known (and poorly researched) fight against the move coming from VA’s resident, and publicly elected, hate monger Delegate Bob Marshall:
In a letter to McDonnell this week, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) warned that providing the benefits would violate the state constitutional ban on gay marriage.
“As Commander of the Virginia National Guard[,] what will you do to secure that the spirit and letter of the [state] Constitution regarding marriage will be upheld?” Marshall wrote.
McDonnell, a social conservative who has walked a fine line on gay-rights issues as governor, said he would abide by the Pentagon policy that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced in August.
The Post goes on to detail Marshall’s (very confused) thought process behind the letter:
“Marshall sent the letter to the governor after seeing a news report about the Texas National Guard, which has said it will not provide benefits for same-sex couples because doing so would conflict with the Texas Constitution and the state’s “Family Code.””
Of course, both Marshall and Texas Maj. Gen. John Nichols (who said the TX National Guard wont be following the federal mandate) are very wrong here – as Article VI, Clause 2 of the US Constitution (usually known as the Supremacy Clause) reads:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”
So heads up to bigoted state legislators – just because your state legalizes hate and discrimination doesn’t mean you can ignore a federal mandate.
Tim is a writer, video game nerd, and music fan. You'll see him at shows, or you wont really see him at all.
“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
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