On the day before the sixty-fourth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the United States military had to go to the United States Supreme Court to defend its ability to recruit on the campuses of the nation’s most prestigious law schools. Because of the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy toward gay and lesbian military personnel, a number of law schools have denied military recruiters access to their campuses.
While the schools do not want the United States military they do want millions of dollars in government largesse. But the government has threatened to withhold these funds if military recruiters are not allowed to recruit among the nation’s best and brightest students. The government’s response is based upon a 1994 law allowing the government to withhold funds when military recruiters are not given the same access to campuses as other groups.
A consortium of some 30 law schools claims the schools’ First Amendment rights have been violated by the government’s intention to withhold millions in aid. Schools like Yale Law School contend that they have every right to oppose what they term “discrimination against gays and lesbians,” so the government’s threat to withhold funds directly undermines the schools’ right to free speech.
This case will not likely be decided by the United States Supreme Court until June of next year. But it presents an interesting nexus of current hot potato issues: academic freedom, free speech, attitudes toward homosexuality, military recruiting, government and military action in wartime.
Who among us, say thirty or more years ago, would have ever believed that the United States military would be denied access to public “pro-gay” campuses while the military is cast as “anti-gay”? This debate is not about academic freedom—faculty members are still free to express their views in the classroom as pertains to their coursework. This debate is not about free speech—law schools are still free to assume whatever position on homosexuality that they deem appropriate. This debate is about money. The law schools want their cake and they want to eat it too.
The United States Supreme Court, as it appears disposed to do, should rule in favor of the government and the Pentagon in this case. No one is forcing the schools to accept government funds, nor is any agency forcing them to accept military recruiters. The government is simply saying that there are certain expectations associated with accepting those funds. If the schools want the funds, than they need to provide access to military recruiters. It’s a simple business transaction.
This case is also about the gay agenda. The unique requirements of the military service necessitate its current policy toward gay and lesbian military personnel. The Pentagon doesn’t condemn or discriminate against them. It does say their sexual predilections should remain private matters so that they in no way affect military unit cohesiveness and operations. It’s straight forward. It’s simple. But individuals embracing homosexuality do not interpret these standards this way. For them anything short of full acceptance is discrimination by definition. That’s where the law schools fit.
Many faculty and staff members in law schools have apparently embraced this new public morality. They don’t just provide open access to the schools to all students. The schools assume, as they do in this case, a proactive stance promoting gay agendas.
I’ve said before. I am not anti-gay person nor anti-gay person civil liberties or current civil rights. I am against special rights, and I am against normalizing gay behavior in American culture. If you believe, as I do, that homosexual expression is immoral, than you cannot embrace, much less promote, each new advance of the gay lifestyle. My position is not always pleasant or easy to maintain, but it is right and righteous.
© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2005
*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers, President or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/rexmrogers.