Virginia’s Anti-Gay-Troops Lawmaker Speaks (VIDEO)

Photo illustration by Adam Weinstein; Civil War by US National Guard/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenationalguard/4101112058/sizes/z/in/photostream/">Flickr Commons</a>, flag by obeeah13/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28876831@N02/3536708963/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Flickr Commons</a>

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Yesterday, we brought you news of Virginia state Delegate Bob Marshall and his plan to keep gays out of the state’s National Guard, no matter what the Union federal government says about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Marshall declined to return a call to his cell phone by Mother Jones, but he was happy to expand on his beliefs for DC television station WUSA. Video’s below, but here are the money quotes (h/t Washington Post). Open mouth, insert foot. But not in a gay way!:

  • “If I needed a blood transfusion and the guy next to me had committed sodomy 14 times in the last month, I’d be worried.”
  • “It’s a distraction when I’m on the battlefield and have to concentrate on the enemy 600 yards away and I’m worried about this guy who’s got eyes on me.”

[NOTE: Marshall has never been on a battlefield. Though in his youth he did take combative positions on incest and staffing the military ranks. And in the interceding years, he’s become something of an expert on power lines.]

For his part, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell—who someday might like to be president of the entire United States, not just commander in chief of the Army of the Potomac—told listeners to his monthly radio show that he wasn’t supporting this particular Marshall plan:

We can’t have two different systems in the federal and National Guard…Whatever the final guidelines of the Department of Defense I would expect the National Guard bureau in Virginia to adhere to those rules so we would have one set of rules for the entire military.

There’s a new battle of Richmond brewing! And this time it feels as if, no matter who wins, the South is definitely losing.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

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