Gays in Virginia National Guard up for debate
Competing bills have been introduced in the House of Delegates, asking the question whether or not openly gay men and women should be allowed to serve in the Virginia National Guard. Craig Carper reports.
Republican Delegate Bob Marshall of Prince William has introduced a bill that would prohibit openly gay soldiers from serving in the National Guard, while Democratic Delegate Joe Morrissey of Henrico is proposing a response bill that would clarify that openly gay men and women can serve in the National Guard.
Morrissey says he believes Marshall’s bill will be found unconstitutional, but wanted to codify state policy.
Morrissey: It’s a Neanderthal, backward policy proposal by Delegate Marshall and it has no place in Virginia. To say it is outrageous would be an understatement. What I’ll ask Delegate Marshall: What is it about our gay soldiers in Virginia that would prevent them from serving admirably in our Virginia National Guard? Are they less loyal? Are they less courageous? Are they less physically qualified?
Governor Bob McDonnell has stated that while he does not agree with Congress’ decision to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he expects Virginia to comply.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square