Virginia state Delegate Bob Marshall says he is crafting a bill that will ban homosexuals from serving in the state National Guard.
Marshall, who is considering running for U.S. Senate in 2012, is one of the House’s most conservative members. He said Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution gives Virginia the authority to uphold the ban by “reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.” “The Constitution never would have been ratified if states were not reserved unqualified control of the militia, now called the National Guard,” he said. But Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, general and legislative counsel for Equality Virginia, which advocates for gay rights, said the National Guard is is subject to the same rules as other federal military units. “Any state statute seeking to set different standards for the Virginia National Guard would be a nullity with no effect,” she said.
Marshall says that the repeal of DADT will make the U.S. military less effective in “countries where religions and cultures find homosexual acts immoral.”