Virginia Republican wants gays banned from state National Guard

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Got to give them credit, they try and keep the bigotry local.

Following this weekend's vote by the Senate to allow gays to openly serve in the military, Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince WIlliam) said he is drafting a bill for the 2011 legislative session that would ban them from serving in the Virginia National Guard.

"This policy will weaken military recruitment and retention, and will increase pressure for a military draft,'' Marshall said. "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."

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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. "It is a shame that Delegate Marshall would dishonor the brave men and women serving in our National Guard by seeking to make political points at their expense and waste the time of his colleagues in the Virginia General Assembly who have pressing matters to attend to like balancing the budget and finding solutions to the traffic problems that are the real and present concern of his constituents."

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