MANASSAS, Va. (WUSA) -- Conservative delegate Bob Marshall says he will introduce a measure in the Virginia House of Delegates that would ban practicing homosexuals from serving in the state's National Guard.
The Republican delegate says openly gay soldiers would distract straight troops. He said, "It's a distraction when I'm on the battlefield and have to concentrate on the enemy 600 yards away and I'm worried about this guy whose got eyes on me."
Marshall says gays have greater incidences of sexually transmitted diseases and this could create other problems. "If I needed a blood transfusion and the guy next to me had committed sodomy 14 times in the last month I'd be worried," he adds.
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Marshall says military tradition from George Washington to Bill Clinton has supported a ban on openly gay soldiers and Virginia's National Guard should do the same.
He argues that the Virginia National Guard is under the control of the State legislature for all activities that take place on state soil and its commander-in-chief is the governor of Virginia not President Obama.
However, some legal experts believe that federal law will take precedent over any state law in this matter. State Senator Mary Whipple, who chairs the state's Democratic caucus, blasted Marshal's proposal, "ModernVvirginia has no place for such homophobia."
Virginia Governror Bob McDonnell , who is a republican and would have to sign the measure into law if passed by the state legislature, was not supportive of Marshall's bill. In recent interviews, the Governor has said that while he does not agree with the recent repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell", he argues that the Virginia National Guard cannot operate under a different set of rules than those spelled out by the Pentagon and approved by Congress.
Written by Armando Trull
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