Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Should Federal Aid Depend on Allowing Military Recruitment?

Today the Supreme Court heard the question of whether the federal government can withold student aid from universities that even symbolically restrict access to military recruitment, on anti-discrimination grounds (because the military, unlike other employers that must abide by equal-opportunity laws, openly bans gays and lesbians. )

I'm disturbed by the way the state's lawyers equate the federal government with the military. The military is set apart when it suits their purposes--we are asked to support the troops even when we oppose the war, and quite rightly. The very existence of the ban on gays supports the idea that the military is a separate estate. By the same token, I believe that the operation of the federal student aid program ought to be kept separate from the desire of the military for new recruits.

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