Citing States Rights, Virginia Lawmaker Seeks to Ban Gays from National Guard

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince WIlliam) wants to ban gays from serving in Virginia's National Guard and is drafting a bill for next year, the WaPo reports:

Marshall 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.

Said Marshall: "This policy will weaken military recruitment and retention, and will increase pressure for a military draft. 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…In countries where religions and cultures find homosexual acts immoral, the Obama administration's repeal policy will work to the detriment of all American troops in securing local cooperation with our nation's foreign policy goals."

Equality Virginia's attorney Claire Guthrie Gastanaga says such a bill would have no effect, since "the National Guard is is subject to the same rules as other federal military units."