Anti-military fervor at the Law School has reached such a fevered pitch that faculty are suing the Department of Defense over its interpretation of the Solomon Amendment, which comes with a minimal obligation to not obstruct military recruitment. Before hysterical students protest the next recruiter visit to campus, I would invite them to consider another perspective on this supposed discrimination issue.
Until last month I served on active duty as an Air Force Captain. I can vouch for the fact that the defense department is meticulous in its compliance with equal-opportunity and non-discrimination laws. Personally, I know two people who are homosexual and serving in the military. The military does not “discriminate” against gays. Rather, it requires homosexuals to be discreet about their sexuality. Likewise, the military requires its uniformed personnel to conceal or modify many other personal expressions – of dress, appearance, and behavior – in the interest of “good order and discipline.”
People who join the military surrender many of their civil liberties. For example, as an officer I could face severe punishment (e.g., prison time or a dishonorable discharge) for sexual misconduct such as adultery or fraternization (relationships with enlisted personnel). Open homosexuals are given a general discharge from the service – a comparatively light sentence for intentionally violating a clear order.
I believe “gays in the military” is a red herring – an excuse used by people who don’t want to tell you the real reason they dislike the military. Furthermore, contrary to the dramatic opinions of some Yale faculty, the defense department’s interpretation of the Solomon Amendment is not a constitutional issue. Nobody is forcing universities to accept discretionary federal funding.
The military exists to preserve our constitutional rights and the way of life that keeps all those federal dollars flowing unto university coffers. If universities say they’re against the military because of a congressionally sanctioned “discrimination policy,” then they should stop accepting all those millions of “tainted” dollars. Suing the Department of Defense is silly.David Bookstaber '99