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Posted at 5:35 PM ET, 12/20/2010

McDonnell: Va. National Guard should follow 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said through a spokesman late Monday that he opposes Congress's repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy but expects to allow gays to openly serve in the Virginia National Guard.

The remarks came after Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince WIlliam) said he is drafting a bill for the 2011 legislative session that would ban gays from openly serving in the Virginia National Guard.

"The governor is a retired United States Army officer, and he knows it is critically important that there be one set of rules for all our men and women in the military, since uniformity of major policy across all branches is essential to effective operations,'' McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. "We are not aware of a single instance in recent history where the Virginia National Guard has not complied with the policies and procedures of the Department of Defense. Furthermore, approximately 90 percent of the Virginia Guard's funding is federal, and any departure from federal policies may put this funding at risk. The federal legislation contemplates a further certification process by the Department of Defense, and other details and steps that are not known at this time. In his role as commander in chief of the Virginia National Guard, Governor McDonnell expects the Guard to adhere to the final guidelines implemented by the Department of Defense."

The Senate voted to end the 17-year-old federal ''don't ask, don't tell' policy this weekend, a few days after the House approved a repeal. President Obama has said he will sign the bill.

"The governor is very disappointed that this lame-duck Congress continues to fail to pass a budget, reduce unemployment, or work on other important national priorities, but instead is focused on legislation to change military policy in the middle of a war and provide benefits to illegal aliens," Martin said.

By Anita Kumar  | December 20, 2010; 5:35 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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This is not the first time that the governor openly disagreed while agreeing with one of his underling's positions. Immediately after this group swept in, Cuccinelli notified the state universities that they could not have a policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The governor disagreed publicly, insisting the universities should not discriminate. Now he is officially disagreeing with Marshall, while his statement shows he actually agrees. Don't be fooled by this version of good cop/bad cop. All of them have their sites on something bigger than state governor, attorney general or delegate. As such they maintain a hard stance to the right while the governor gets to appear as a moderate.

Posted by: taxing | December 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

A state delegate is not an "underling" of the governor - he is an elected representative of his district, although apparently a fool.

Posted by: maus92 | December 20, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Marshall's either a total idiot or, more likely, a cynic trying to make headlines. Everyone knows the National Guard is heavily tied to the federal government and has to follow federal military policies such as the UCMJ.

Virginia could probably ban gays from the Virginia Defense Force, which is actually a state militia. But that would be remarkably pointless and spiteful, so I don't see that happening.

Posted by: Simon23p | December 20, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Lord, what fools these Virginians be!
They started electing trash when they elected Warner and then Gilmore. They showed signs of enlightenment when they elected Warner and Kaine. Now they've decided the like the seventeenth century better.

It takes three Virginians to change a light bulb: one to actually change the bulb and two to talk about how grand the old one was and why they shouldn't change it.

Posted by: amstphd | December 20, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh how these conservative Virginians cleave to their asinine bigotry. Wasn't Loving v. VA embarrassing enough for them? I guess they take their lessons dragging and screaming.

Posted by: bobbarnes | December 21, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

What?? Nothing from the crazy Commonwealth AG?? Or is he too busy trying to work on the constitutional amendment to allow states to overturn federal law??

Posted by: johnklenert | December 21, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

He did exactly what liberals wanted him to do, and still they complain.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 21, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

What does it say when it's a news story that the governor of Virginia will obey the law?

Posted by: krickey7 | December 21, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they should change all those bumper stickers to "Virginia is for losers"

Posted by: unreligious | December 21, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they should change all those bumper stickers to "Virginia is for losers"

Posted by: unreligious | December 21, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

They love hating gays in Virgina. From this dimwit to the states atty general it's a gay hate state! Come to Virgina and kick some gay butt!

Posted by: madest | December 21, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

unreligious write, "Maybe they should change all those bumper stickers to 'Virginia is for losers.'"

I actually have a bumer sticker on my truck that reads:

Virginia is for lovers*
*Restrictions apply

I put that on when Bob Marshall deemed me to be less than an equal citizen of Virginia.

Posted by: kjclark1963 | December 21, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"He did exactly what liberals wanted him to do,"


What is that, exactly? Follow the law? Is this some sort of position that's unique to "liberals" these days?

The Great American Philosopher Chris Rock has an excellent take on people who try to get praise for things that they are supposed to do.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 21, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Look at all the hate spewed by people who got their way!

Posted by: blasmaic | December 21, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

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