Monthly Archives: October 2009

Joint Statement of Opposition to the Presence of Military Recruiters at OCU Law

The following is a statement issued by NLG Law Student Chapter at the Oklahoma City University of Law in Oklahoma, City, OK in opposition to military recruiters on their campus (original text located at Student Chapter of NLG at Oklahoma City University of Law website):

JOINT STATEMENT OF OPPOSITION TO THE

PRESENCE OF MILITARY RECRUITERS AT OCU LAW:

To the administration of Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma City University School of Law:

We issue this statement as concerned student and community organizations out of our collective concern over the presence of military recruiters on campus at OCU.

Our concern is that the US military engages in discrimination through its so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. This policy was initiated in 1993 by Democratic President Bill Clinton. This policy, unlike previous policies, allowed gay people to serve in the military as long as they were silent about the fact that they were gay.

From Moral Assaults, to Criminalization, to the stigma of Mental Illness, to the prohibition on marriage and adoption rights, LGBT Americans have long suffered in our nation. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is but another injury in the long line of continuing abuse. The policy “imposes upon gay soldiers the requirement that they proclaim a false straight identity to the world, either by remaining silent in the face of a persistent ‘heterosexual presumption’ or by actively claiming a heterosexual identity as the only realistic method of complying with the policy.” Instead of preventing discrimination, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” serves to mask discrimination under the guise of “political correctness” and oppressive silence.

In many jurisdictions, gay people are not protected against discrimination in employment. Statewide protections against workplace discrimination exist in only fourteen states; in the rest of the country, employees fired for being gay have no legal recourse unless they work in a locality with its own anti-discrimination ordinance. Even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed to such discrimination, the United States Congress has still failed to enact the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which would make it illegal to fire, or refuse to hire, someone because of his or her sexual orientation.

Unlike many corporations and private institutions, OCU has taken the progressive step of drafting a Non-Discriminatory Policy which states:

The School of Law provides its students and graduates with equal opportunities to obtain employment, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap or disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. In furtherance of this policy, the law school communicates to each employer to whom it furnishes assistance and facilities for interviewing and other placement functions the school’s firm expectation that the employer will observe the principle of equal opportunity.

However, federal law prohibits OCU from following its own policies (or Regulation 6.19 of the American Association of Law Schools), since the Solomon Act provides that no federal funds shall be provided to any college or university that denies campus access to military recruiters. Recognizing the conflicting interests that Oklahoma City University faces in providing affordable education to students of limited means (through federal financial aid that is contingent on compliance with Solomon) and its stated desire to provide a non-discriminatory equal-opportunity environment, we call for the following ameliatory steps in lawful peaceful resistance to the unconstitutional aims of the Solomon Act: 1. We call for Oklahoma City University to implement a campus-wide “disclaimer policy” for the posting of military recruitment literature on campus. Currently OCU law School requires a disclaimer for all military recruitment literature posted at the law school, but OCU Student services (serving the campus as a whole) does not require such a disclaimer. We believe that it is time to close this loophole in school policy. Military recruitment literature should have a disclaimer on it, no matter where it is posted on campus. 2. We call for the administration to join other law schools across the country in opposing the Solomon Act through litigation. The Act has already been found unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds in other locales. Given this persuasive authority, OCU should seek similar relief in this Circuit. 1. We call for Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a policy that is destructive to the principles of our Constitution, the fabric of our communities, and the lives of LGBT students, service members, and Americans. We also call for Congress to repeal the Solomon Act because it is unconscionable to force higher education to engage in discrimination.
List of Organizations that have officially endorsed this statement: National Lawyers Guild, OCU Law School chapter

Lesbian and Gay Law Students Association of OCU

Red River Democracy Project

Cimarron Alliance Foundation of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Committee for Conscientious Objectors

Oklahoma City Code Pink

Oklahoma City Women in Black

Tulsa Peace Fellowship

The Peace House

Green Party of Oklahoma

Oklahoma County Greens (GPOK local chapter)

Green Country Greens (GPOK local chapter)

Rural Oklahoma Greens (GPOK local chapter)

10 U.S.C. § 654 states in part:
(b) POLICY.-A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations:
(1) That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts unless there are further findings, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations, that the member has demonstrated that-
(A) such conduct is a departure from the member’s usual and customary behavior;
(B) such conduct, under all the circumstances, is unlikely to recur;
(C) such conduct was not accomplished by use of force, coercion or intimidation;
(D) under the particular circumstances of the case, the member’s continued presence in the armed forces is consistent with the interests of the armed forces in proper discipline, good order, and morale; and
(E) the member does not have a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts.
(2) That the member has stated that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual . . . .
(3) That the member has married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex.

Tobias Barrington Wolff, Article, Political Representation and Accountability Under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell , 89 I OWA L. R EV. 1633 , 1637-38 (2004).

See Oklahoma City University School of Law Student Handbook 1 (2003-04).

See generally 32 C.F.R. § 216.3 (2005).

See e.g. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights v. Rumsfeld, 390 F.3d 219 (3d Cir. 2003), See also Burt v. Rumsfeld , 2005 WL 273205 (D. Conn. 2005).

Military Recruiting FAQ

Military Recruiting FAQ–A Consumer’s – Please Print, Post & Share

Military Recruiting FAQ–A Consumer’s
Please Print, Post & Share (pdf [pdfs/RecruitmentFAQ.pdf])

If you or someone you know is thinking about joining the U.S. military, here are some points to consider before you “sign on the dotted line.”

1. Military enlistments are potentially unlimited in length.
The box below cites “fine print” from the back of the first page of a military enlistment “contract.” It shows that, despite the stated length of enlistment (usually four years), recruits can be kept in the military indefinitely, or called back from the reserves many years later, especially as part of the “war on terror,” which has no foreseeable end. This is what’s been called the “back door draft.” Thousands have already been subjected to it. Recruiters typically neglect to mention these sections to potential enlistees.
From The Military Enlistment/Re-enlistment “Contract” (DD Form 4/1)
(NOTE: The sections below are on the BACK of the contract):
9. FOR ALL ENLISTEES OR REENLISTEES: Many laws, regulations, and military customs will govern my conduct and require me to do things a civilian does not have to do. The following statements are not promises or guarantees of any kind. They explain some of the present laws affecting the Armed Forces which I cannot change but which Congress can change at any time. c. In the event of war, my enlistment in the Armed Forces continues until six (6) months after the war ends, unless my enlistment is ended sooner by the President of the United States. b. If I am a member of a Reserve Component of an Armed Force at the beginning of a period of war or national emergency declared by Congress, or if I become a member during that period, my military service may be extended without my consent until six (6) months after the end of that period of war. c. As a member of a Reserve Component, in time of war or national emergency declared by the Congress, I may be required to serve on active duty (other than for training) for the entire period of the war or emergency and for six (6) months after its end. See the full form at: www.dior.whs.mil/forms/DD0004.pdf

2. Recruiters’ promises are often false, or not kept. In our GI counseling work, “My recruiter lied” is the most common complaint in our thousands of calls. The reasons recruiters often lie are not hard to find: they are under tremendous and relentless pressure to meet recruiting goals. During wartime, many young people and their families are uneasy about the risks of military service.?Numerous journalistic reports have exposed recruiter misrepresentations. Several such reports, available on the internet, are listed below:

• A 1999 Atlanta TV news report, for which Quaker House was a major source, uncovered systematic misrepresentation by recruiters The reports were titled, “GI Lies” and are at:www.fox5atlanta.com/iteam/gilies.html
• A former Marine recruiter, Chris White, declared that “Recruiters lie about college benefits, duty station assignments, veterans’ benefits, and countless other aspects of the military in order to convince their clients to sign.”www.objector.org/insider.html
• Recruiters in Dallas, “arranged with a diploma mill to print required high school diplomas for recruits with GEDs.”; some profited personally from the practice. www.ire.org/contest/past/99winnerslist.html
• Recruiters for the Indiana National Guard falsified scores of physical exams to sign up recruits who were physically unqualified. in 2002 The Indianapolis Star ran a series of articles exposing this scandal.

3. Military service does not pay off in future job earnings. Recruiters promise training that will lead to better jobs in civilian life. But several careful studies show that veterans typically earn 12% to 15% less than those workers who do not go into the military. One reason for this discrepancy is that much military training is not useful in outside work. Another is the high proportion of veterans who experience PTSD and other problems that interfere with work. www.v-r-a.org/docs/DisAVets.htm#_edn12

4. The hazards of military service include more than just getting killed or wounded. For instance, less than 300 US soldiers were killed in the first Gulf War of 1991. But tens of thousands of Gulf War vets have reported chronic, debilitating physical and psychological disorders since serving in the Gulf. :www.va.gov/pressrel/gwfs.htm
Similar problems are already showing up in soldiers returning from the Iraq occupation: rates of major depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are very high.

5. Women in the military face a very high incidence of harassment and rape. Recent studies and notorious cases show, as one report put it, that “sexual assault on women in the military may be common, and that those attacks leave physical and emotional scars on the female veterans long after they’ve left the service.” Moreover, military higher-ups often ignore or cover up these crimes. www.gaymilitary.ucsb.edu/ResearchResources/PressClips/news10_31_99.htm

6. Military life is very hard on families. The incidence of family abuse and violence in the military is three to five times higher than in the civilian population. A recent North Carolina study showed that children in military communities were twice as likely to be killed by their parents. These abuse patterns are intensified by the impact of a force stretched too thin in Iraq and elsewhere. Heyman & Neidig, Jrnl Consulting Clinical Psychology 1999 ?Apr;67(2):239-42. See also this report from the Quaker House Newsletter. North Carolina Child Homicide Report: www.ncchild.org/maltreatment.htm

7. DELAYED ENLISTMENT PROGRAM: Persons who sign up for Delayed Enlistment and change their minds CAN get out of the program, relatively easily. Recruiters will often LIE about this, falsely telling people they will be arrested, go to jail, or (if immigrants) get their families deported. If all else fails, DEP members can simply refuse to report for enlistment. More information at: girights.objector.org/delayed-enlistment-program.html

8. Benefits promised to veterans have been repeatedly cut, with more reductions on the way. www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A2153-2003Jun16?language=printer

San Francisco draft resolution on recruitment

Draft Resolution for San Francisco Board of Education

Cut Ties with the Military

WHEREAS, the United States military is actively recruiting high school students into the military to fight in Iraq ; and

WHEREAS, many young San Francisco high school alumni are presently serving in military units fighting in Iraq ; and

WHEREAS, it is San Francisco City policy by virtue of Proposition N, to bring all U.S. troops home from Iraq now; and

WHEREAS, over 1,448 U.S. soldiers and approximately 100,000 Iraqis have been killed in this war and over 10,000 U.S. soldiers and unknown thousands of Iraqis have been wounded; and

WHEREAS, the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war have robbed our children of resources that should be spent on education and other human needs; and

WHEREAS, military presence in our schools legitimizes the message that violence is acceptable;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

It shall be the policy of the San Francisco Board of Education to cut all ties with the United States military, including, but not limited to: Ending military recruitment on campuses; ending the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC); and guaranteeing that all students and parents are informed of their right to deny military recruiters access to their names, addresses and telephone numbers.

Arcata California voter initiative on recruitment

Arcata Youth Protection Ordinance – Voter Initiative on November 2008 Ballot

PRESS RELEASE:

“Arcata Youth Protection Ordinance” on the November 2008 ballot as a voter initiative.

February 6, 2008

Arcata , California

Local group submits proposed voter initiative ordinance.

On Monday, February 4, a group of local parents, teachers, students and counter-recruiting activists filed with the Arcata City Clerk a “Notice of Intention to Circulate an Initiative Petition” and a “Request for Ballot Title and Summary” for a proposed ordinance that they hope to see on the November 2008 ballot. The “The Arcata Youth Protection Act” prohibits military recruiting of any person under the age of eighteen within the City of Arcata .

The City Attorney has fifteen days to review the ordinance and prepare a ballot title and summary. The proponents may then begin to collect signatures of registered Arcata voters on a petition to place the measure on the ballot. Approximately 1500 valid signatures are required by early June in order to qualify for the November 2008 general election.

The actual Statement of Law in the ordinance reads:

“No person who is employed by or an agent of the United States government shall, within the City of Arcata, in the execution of his or her job duties, recruit, initiate contact with for the purpose of recruiting, or promote the future enlistment of any person under the age of eighteen into any branch of the United States Armed Forces.”

The group meets regularly, and anyone interested in helping to get this ordinance on the ballot in Arcata or elsewhere is encouraged to call 834-3612.

An update will be issued when signature gathering begins.

A few points about the Arcata Youth Protection Act:

It is intended to be a ballot initiative, an ordinance to be voted on by the community.

It is not intended to be introduced as an ordinance to be voted on by the city council.

Its main premise is that military recruiting is a threat to youth, and that those who are considered too young to vote are also too young to be urged to enlist in the military.

“No Child Left Behind” allows federal funding to be cut if local school boards restrict recruiter access to schools; it says nothing about people voting to protect youth from military recruiting.

The ordinance will likely be challenged by the federal government on the grounds of preemption, but when the federal government is destructive of our rights or threatens the welfare of our youth, we must challenge its authority.

_________________________________________

Full Text of the Ordinance:

ARCATA YOUTH PROTECTION ACT

AN ORDINANCE TO PROHIBIT THE MILITARY RECRUITMENT OF ANY PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN

To protect the welfare of our youth, the People of Arcata Ordain as Follows:

No person who is employed by or an agent of the United States government shall, within the City of Arcata , in the execution of his or her job duties, recruit, initiate contact with for the purpose of recruiting, or promote the future enlistment of any person under the age of eighteen into any branch of the United States Armed Forces.

Authority:

This Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the authority guaranteed to the people of Arcata by the California Constitution (Article 2, Section1) and the U.S. Constitution (Amendments IX and X) which guarantee political power to the people and recognize the right to exercise that power through initiative and referendum (California Constitution Article 4, Section I).

Findings

1) Military Recruiters Target Teens.

Military recruiters target teens through ad campaigns, mailings, telephone calls, email, and direct personal contact. They promote enlistment by glorifying military service and exaggerating the educational and career benefits, while ignoring the dangers. Recruiters are rewarded for meeting enlistment quotas and risk reassignment if quotas are not met. College and business recruiters lack equivalent resources and incentives to promote non-military careers to teens.

2) People under the age of eighteen are not permitted to vote.

As a society, we believe that people under eighteen lack the life experience to make informed choices; they cannot vote, sign contracts, or make medical and other legal decisions. Although people under eighteen cannot enlist in the military without parental consent, sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds in our community are routinely urged by recruiters to commit themselves to future enlistment after their eighteenth birthdays. Those who do enlist in the military may be ordered to participate in actions that violate Constitutional and International Law including bombings of civilian targets, invasions and occupations of sovereign nations, or illegal detention and mistreatment of suspected terrorists. Young soldiers risk their lives and sanity without a developed ability to comprehend the consequences of their actions. Unlike civilian employees, military enlistees may be prosecuted and imprisoned if they refuse to obey an order, or if they change their minds and want to quit their jobs in the military. If we believe that people under the age of eighteen lack the experience and maturity necessary for voting, then they should not be subjected to the highly sophisticated and well- fun ded efforts of military recruiters to enlist them in the armed forces.

3) The First Amendment protects the free speech of people, not the government.

While some may argue that recruiting is “speech” protected by the First Amendment, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of people from the excesses of government.

4) This Ordinance does not violate provisions of No Child Left Behind.

The No Child Left Behind Act (PL 117-110, Section 9528.3) mandates that: “Each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to post secondary educational institutions or to prospective employers of those students.” This Ordinance is to be approved by the voters, not by any local educational agency. Under the Ordinance, schools may still provide access to military recruiters, but recruiters are prohibited from recruiting or promoting the future enlistment of any person under the age of eighteen.

Specific Purpose:

The specific purpose of this Ordinance is to protect youth under the age of eighteen from military recruiting.

Statement of Law:

No person who is employed by or an agent of the United States government shall, within the City of Arcata , in the execution of his or her job duties, recruit, initiate contact with for the purpose of recruiting, or promote the future enlistment of any person under the age of eighteen into any branch of the United States Armed Forces.

Nothing in this Ordinance shall prevent any person from voluntarily visiting a military recruitment office or specifically initiating a request to meet with a recruiter.

Nothing in this Ordinance shall prevent individuals who are not employed by or agents of the U.S. government from encouraging people under the age of eighteen to join the military.

Enforcement

The City of Arcata shall inform all local military recruiters and their commanding officers of this Ordinance, which prohibits military recruiting of any person under the age of eighteen within the City of Arcata . Any military recruiter who violates this Ordinance, as well as his or her commanding officer, shall be held responsible for said violation. Both shall be deemed guilty of an infraction and shall be subject to the penalties stated in the Arcata Municipal Code. (A.M.C. I-3-1200) A citizen complaint of any unsolicited military recruiting activity involving people under the age of eighteen shall initiate investigation and possible citation by the Arcata Police Department for violation of this Ordinance. If recruiters violate this Ordinance five or more times within one month, military recruiting of persons under the age of eighteen shall be deemed a public nuisance and shall be summarily abated.

(A.M.C. I-3-1201)

Severability

The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any section or provision of this Ordinance is determined to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision of the court shall not affect or invalidate any of the remaining sections or provisions of this Ordinance. It is the express intent of the people of Arcata , California that this Ordinance would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional section or provision had not been included.

Effective Date

This Ordinance shall take effect thirty (30) days after adoption by the voters.

Interpretation

In the event this Ordinance requires interpretation (by courts, county officials, or anyone else), it is the express intent of the people of Arcata that this Ordinance be construed in such a manner to carry out the original intent of this Initiative, which is to prohibit military recruitment of any person under the age of eighteen within the City of Arcata.

Sacramento Board of Supervisors resolution on Iraq troops

RESOLUTION OF THE SACRAMENTO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS SUPPORTING PHASED WITHDRAWAL OF U.S. FORCES IN IRAQ

ROGER DICKINSON

AGENDA DATE: January 8, 2008

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO, STATE OF CALIFORNIA
SUPPORTING PHASED WITHDRAWAL OF U.S. FORCES IN IRAQ

WHEREAS, the United States is now into the fifth year of a war in Iraq with no end in sight and little apparent progress; and

WHEREAS, despite the deaths of more than 4,360 American men and women in our Armed Forces, and the injury of more than 30,000 Americans, President George W. Bush has refused to begin a safe and orderly withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq; and

WHEREAS, more than 460 Californians have been among the service members killed in the Iraq conflict, more than any other state, and thousands more Californians, including more than 800 members of California’s National Guard, remain deployed in Iraq and at grave risk; and

WHEREAS, in the County of Sacramento, the direct toll has been at least fifteen members of the Armed Services who have been killed and scores injured, and is estimated to cost County taxpayers more than $700 million through FY 2008; and

WHEREAS, civilian casualties in Iraq have been significant, with more than 700,000 civilian Iraqi men, women, and children killed, and millions more wounded or displaced from their homes; and

WHEREAS, hostilities in Iraq have continued for more than four years, requiring the expenditure of $10,000,000,000 per month and estimated at more than $450,000,000,000 already appropriated since its inception, an amount that directly affects the funding available to address Sacramento County’s needs and pressing issues such as funding for children’s health insurance, job training programs, homeless assistance, housing assistance, flood protection, water supply development, public and other transportation development, and other vital domestic needs; and

WHEREAS, the widely respected and bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended that the United States withdraw its Armed Forces from Iraq by early this year; and

WHEREAS, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation which would have allowed California voters the opportunity to express their views on the war in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, despite the best efforts and tremendous sacrifices made by service members and their families, the continued presence of United States Armed Forces will not lead to peace and stability in Iraq or the Middle East; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors, County of Sacramento, believes that the war in Iraqi has significantly adversely affected the ability of the County of Sacramento to address many crucial matters facing the people of Sacramento County without increasing public safety or reducing the threat of terrorism;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors, County of Sacramento, State of California, calls on the Congress and the President to set specific dates and timelines to withdraw and phase out our Armed Forces in Iraq in order to better serve our national interest and meet critical domestic priorities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Clerk of the Board is hereby directed to transmit this resolution to the President of the United States, the leadership of the Congress, the United States Senators from California, and the members of the Sacramento delegation of the House of Representatives.

Roger Dickinson

Agenda Date: January 8, 2008 Page 2

On a motion by Supervisor_____________________,

Seconded by Supervisor_______________________ , the foregoing

Resolution was passed and adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sacramento, State of California, this 8th day of January, 2008, with

the following vote, to wit:

AYES: Supervisors,

NOES: Supervisors,

ABSENT: Supervisors,

_________________________
Chair, Board of Supervisors
COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO
STATE OF CALIFORNIA

ATTEST
___________________________
Clerk, Board of Supervisors