East Coast schools can bar military recruiters

The military’s discrimination against homo-sexuals is still the heart of the problem.

Last week, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that universities may bar military recruiters from campus without losing federal funding.As the court held, institutions’ First Amendment rights amply support this ruling.

This issue arose mostly in the case of Judge Advocate General Corps recruiting efforts in law schools. After many schools barred Judge Advocate General Corps recruiters because the military discriminates against homosexuals, Congress passed the Solomon Amendment, which dictates that institutions that do so lose federal funding.

What this new decision opines is that, similar to the Boy Scouts of America’s right to bar those whose lifestyles are contrary to the mission, a university can bar those whose actions are contrary to its mission.

Thus, universities, many of which seek to promote tolerance and equality as part of their missions, can prohibit employers who will not consider all their students on the merits of those students’ performances from recruiting at all.

Some commentators contend that what higher-education officials are really opposed to is the military itself. While such a contention seems to be pure speculation, if true, it would be unfortunate. The nation is well-served by qualified students – especially qualified law students – considering military service.

The union of the integrity, honor and duty so central to military training with the analytical rigor and social justice emphasis of legal training have consistently produced fine lawyers and public servants.

On the other hand, the military could very simply solve this by not discriminating against homosexuals.

This discrimination, while not explicity part of the court’s ruling, is still the heart of the problem. Allowing service people to be openly homosexual would pose a problem of military unity, much as allowing blacks to serve did two generations ago. The military got passed that issue, and is better for it. Sooner or later, the military will have to get through this one.

There are already homosexual soldiers serving their country honorably, and for such service their reward is a being mandated to live a double life, if they want to continue that honorable service. As such, the sooner the military starts this new round of growing pains, the better.

The military should discontinue “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”