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Delegate: No Gays in National Guard

Delegate: No Gays in National Guard


The U.S. Senate voted to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" over the weekend, but a Virginia delegate wants the ban against gays and lesbians serving openly to stay in place for his state's National Guard.

According to Fredericksburg, Va.'s Free Lance-Star, Del. Bob Marshall of Prince William County, who may be interested U.S. senator Jim Webb's seat, plans to introduce legislation in the 2011 general assembly that would make the discriminatory policy the rule in the Virginia National Guard.

"In a written statement, Marshall, a conservative Republican who was the sponsor of the bill that banned gay marriage in Virginia, said allowing openly gay people to serve in the military 'will weaken military recruitment and retention, and will increase pressure for a military draft,'" the newspaper reported.

"After 232 years of prohibiting active, open homosexuals from enlisting in our military, President Obama and a majority in Congress are conducting a social experiment with our troops and our national security," he said.

A spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell said he disagreed with Marshall's proposal because the governor believes that Virginia should adhere to the new standard set by federal law. Not doing so also would cause the Guard to lose federal funding.

But Marshall argues that Virginia may set policies for its own National Guard, regardless of the federal law.

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