Profs stand up to discrimination

The Law School faculty isn’t anti-military, but “don’t ask, don’t tell” is still unacceptable.

University Law School faculty members publicly declared their disapproval of the Solomon Amendment and joined a lawsuit seeking to strike it down Tuesday.

The Law School faculty will not be a named plaintiff in the suit but will join the forum, a group that won the appellate round of its litigation in the Third Judicial Circuit. There is a similar case in the Second Judicial Circuit. The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to consider the issue.

The amendment allows the government to withhold money from schools that don’t allow military recruiters on campus. In 2003, the forum and other groups sued, claiming the amendment is unconstitutional.

The different plaintiffs object to the military’s discrimination against individuals who wish to be openly homosexual and serve in the military. Such discrimination is contrary to virtually every law school’s internal policies. As such, the plaintiffs seek the right to ban recruiters from their campuses.

Their legal complaint is that they have the right to enforce their own policies inside their institution. As the Boy Scouts exempted themselves from anti-discrimination laws that conflicted with their beliefs, these groups seek to exempt themselves from a discriminatory policy that conflicts with their beliefs.

This all comes down to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a policy that is as ineffective as it is discriminatory. The military currently struggles to recruit enough new soldiers. Just as it proved beneficial to racially integrate the military decades ago, openly homosexual soldiers will also benefit the military in the long run.

Neither the Law School faculty nor this board is anti-military. Undergraduate, graduate and professional students choosing to serve is good for the students, the military and the country. The military’s policy against homosexuals goes against the University’s anti-discrimination policy, and that policy exists for good reason. The University and Law School believe in an environment free from discrimination. This includes allowing only employers who respect that environment to recruit inside it.

What this means for the University is uncertain. If the Supreme Court takes the case, its answer will be applicable nationwide. If it chooses not to, the different plaintiffs win. But then the courts in the Second and Third Judicial Circuits will have to decide what relief to grant and where that relief applies.

For now, the Law School faculty has taken a stand on the matter. We commend it for its efforts and principles.