I’ve always thought that being Vice President of the U.S. is the best job in America; there’s a six-figure salary, great healthcare benefits, and an excellent pension plan (and only three constitutional duties, to boot)—what’s not to love?
One of the more important tasks a prospective VP has to complete is to argue with his rival in an internationally televised debate (though, in general, the outcome rarely has much of an effect on the presidential race itself). This year’s spectacle, however, felt different—the two men both appeared more presidential than their running mates. Whatever your political orientation, I’m sure that we can agree that the proceedings threw the opposing parties into stark relief, and also that the incompatibilities in ideology were clearly articulated.
Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to my point: Military law as embodied by the return of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) to Yale—which discriminates against transgendered individuals—is similarly incompatible with Yale’s stated nondiscrimination policies.
ROTC has had a long and storied history at Yale. The first units were established in 1926, just a few years after the end of World War I. ROTC left the university in 1972, amid the radicalism and anti-military sentiments of the Vietnam War era. It had remained banned in more recent years in opposition to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), the policy that prohibited gays from serving openly; however, when President Barack Obama repealed that law, the Yale Corporation saw fit to officially allow ROTC units back on campus.
It now appears, however, that the administration forgot to read the fine print: though DADT did allow gays to serve openly in the military, it didn’t affect the existing policy that bans transgender individuals from service. Read the rest of this entry »