Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, announced that he was drafting legislation to bar active homosexuals from serving in the Virginia National Guard on the same day the Senate voted to eliminate the 17-year “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy. Citing Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution which “reserv[es] to the States respectively. the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
Forbidding open homosexuals from serving in the National Guard would in effect keep “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” alive at the National Guard level which the active services, worn out by fighting two wars overseas, depend upon for deployments.
The conservative legislator quoted Army chief of staff Gen. George Casey, who said that the repealed ban had “nothing to do with discrimination, and everything to do with unit cohesiveness” dating back to the Revolutionary War.
“General George Washington did not tolerate personal behavior by his troops that was incompatible with the character traits he expected from his soldiers,” Marshall said. “In March of 1778, Washington discharged, via public rebuke, a soldier who had attempted a homosexual act with another soldier and then lied about it under oath.
“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 while Americans in uniform are fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and, indeed, might be called into battle in Korea.”
In 2006, Virginia voters approved Marshall's amendment to the state constitution forbidding gay marriage in the commonwealth