- Del. Bob Marshall (Photo: Associated Press)
Gays and lesbians will soon be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military. Virginia Del. Bob Marshall is one lawmaker who refuses to accept that inevitability—he has announced his intentions to maintain pure heterosexuality in the state's National Guard.
In an interview, Marshall clarified his stance on gays in the armed forces. "If I needed a blood transfusion and the guy that's going to give me the transfusion has committed sodomy 14 times in the last month, yeah I'm gonna be worried," he told WUSA. "It's a distraction while I'm on the battlefield and I have to concentrate on the guy 600 yards away, I'm worrying about this guy who's got eyes on me. . . . discipline does not mean sodomy."
Why is Marshall—and guys like Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who has testified publicly to the possibility of gay men sneaking into your bed—suddenly so worked up about the possibility of unwanted sexual advances in the armed forces?
After all, Don't Ask Don't Tell has done little to reduce the stunning numbers of sexual assault in the military. In fact, some servicewomen who have fended off assaults have actually been accused of being gay for refusing to submit to male assailants. And while men do assault other men in the military, they assault women at ten times that rate. A small number of cases also involve female assailants, who assault both men and other women.
Unwanted sexual advances affect thousands of military servicemen and women each year—and that's only counting completed sexual assaults, not cases of "this guy who's got eyes on me." Under Marshall's rationale, people of all genders and sexual orientations should be excluded from military service, lest they rape someone (or simply look at him sideways). But judging from the delegate's creative riffs on "sodomy" figures, it seems that the presence of gay men on the battlefield is more "distracting" to Marshall than are actual rapists.