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Universities Lose Federal Funding For Opposing Gay


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Universities Lose Federal Funding For Opposing Gay Military Ban

by Doreen Brandt 365Gay.com Washington Bureau

Posted: September 20, 2005 7:00 pm ET

(Washington) Three University law schools have had their federal funding pulled in a dispute with the Pentagon over 'don't ask, don't tell' - the military's ban on gays serving opening in the armed forces.

The three are among 24 law schools that had refused to allow military recruiters on campuses citing the ban as contrary to the institutions' non discrimination policies.

Under a law called the Solomon Act, schools receiving federal funds are prohibited from denying the military entry to campuses, access to students on campus and access to student recruiting information.

Last November, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law, saying it infringed on the free-speech rights of the schools. (story) In February, the US House of Representatives voted 327 - 84 to express support for law.

The Bush Administration has appealed the court ruling to the US Supreme Court. (story) The case will be heard this fall.

The Yale Daily News reported on Tuesday that the Department of Defense is withholding federal funding for New York Law School, Vermont Law School and William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn..

Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke told the News the three law schools were targeted because they did not provide a written declaration that they do not have a policy or practice of denying the military access to campus.

"New York Law School officials found out earlier this month from the Pentagon that federal funding would be withheld if they did not allow recruiters back on their campus," the News reported.

"Colleges and universities should not be forced to compromise their policies of equal opportunity in order to receive federal funding," said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in a statement Tuesday.

The SLDN filed an amicus brief in the Third Circuit case in support of the colleges.

"It is the military's policy of discrimination, and not universities' attempts to treat all students fairly, that should change," said Osburn. "The armed forces should play by the same rule as all other employers seeking access to students: no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

©365Gay.com 2005


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