Lambda Law

Students Association

 

885 Centre Street, Newton, MA 02458

E-mail the Executive Board at:

lambdaexecboard[at]listserv[dot]bc[dot]edu

MAIN PAGE

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

ALUMNI

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

MILITARY RECRUITMENT

F.A.I.R. v. RUMSFELD

SODOMY LAWS

 

Lambda Links:

- American Bar Association

- American Civil Liberties Union

- Association of American Law Schools

- Black Stripe

- Boston Queer Asian Pacific Alliance

- Community United Against Violence

- Deaf Queer Resource Center

- Fenway Community Health Center

- Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

- Gender Public Advocacy Coalition

- Human Rights Campaign

- International Association of Lesbian & Gay Judges

- International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Comm.

- International Lesbian & Gay Association

- Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund

- Massachusetts Chapter of Gender Education & Advocacy

- Massachusetts Lesbian & Gay Bar Association

- National Center for Lesbian Rights

- National Gay & Lesbian Task Force

- National Latina/o LGBT Organization

- National Lesbian & Gay Law Association

- Servicemembers Legal Defense Network†††††

The Solomon Amendment

Background:
In the 1990's, as part of an appropriations bill, the U.S. Congress adopted a piece of legislation known colloquially as the "Solomon Amendment." It threatens to cut off federal student-loan funds for law schools that bar military recruiters from on-campus facilities. Pursuant to local laws and campus antidiscrimination policies, most laws schools barred the military from on-campus recruitment prior to the Solomon Amendment because the military discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and gender. The military discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation by refusing as a matter of policy and practice to recruit, retain, or promote any person identified as having a minority sexual orientation. It discriminates on the basis of gender by imposing as a matter of policy and practice a "ceiling" on the promotion of women to career-advancing combat roles. Both instances of discrimination are based on prejudice, not qualifications. The Solomon Amendment is designed to force law schools to become complicit in such sexual orientation and gender discrimination. It forces law schools to compromise the quality of on-campus life in a discrimination-free educational environment in order to receive the federal aid needed to bring students to campus in the first place.

BCLS Nondiscrimination Policy Under Solomon:
The BCLS Nondiscrimination Policy reads as follows:
"Boston College Law School is committed to a policy against discrimination and harassment based on age; sex; race; color; religion; national origin or ancestry; sexual orientation; disability; or marital, family or military status. It is expected that employers using the services of the Career Services Office will comply with this policy and take positive steps to ensure that no discrimination or harassment occurs in the hiring, promotion, compensation or work assignments of
Boston College Law School students. The Law School will extend use of its facilities only to those employers whose practices are consistent with this policy."

Under Solomon, an exception to this policy concerning sexual orientation and gender has been made for the military in order to facilitate its recruitment on the BCLS campus and to preserve BCLS' access to federal funding. Are these coerced "exceptions" to campus nondiscrimination policies acceptable without protest? If so, which protected groups are next? The following BCLS student organizations support the BCLS nondiscrimination policy as written, without exceptions:

  • Lambda Law Students Association
  • Women's Law Center
  • Law Students Association
  • Latin American Law Students Association
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Public Interest Law Foundation
  • Environmental Law Society
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Holocaust/Human Rights Project
  • Reproductive Rights Coalition
  • Phi Alpha Delta

Boston College Law Schoolís Response:

 

Dean's Taskforce on Military Recruiting:


The Task Force was created to formulate on-campus recruitment procedures under Solomon, to plan campus events that would attempt to ameliorate the discriminatory effect of "living with Solomon", and to investigate ways to change or eliminate the amendment itself. The Task Force is composed of several committees. These committees have included a Committee on Statutory Interpretation, in charge of deciphering which recruitment procedures qualify as being "in compliance" with Solomon, and the Litigation Strategies Committee, in charge of investigating the possibilities of litigation and monitoring the progress of the current law suit brought by student organizations at Vermont Law School. During the 98-99 academic year, the Diversity Programs Committee hosted Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, retired Colonel Grethe Cammermeyer, Stacy Sobel from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and an Employment Discrimination Panel consisting of Margaret Burman and BCLS alumna Ellen Zucker.To learn more about the Task Force, to voice your support, or to express interest in joining it, contact its Chair, Professor Alan Minuskin (minuskin at bc. edu), voted BCLS's 98-99 Professor of the Year.

 

The Coalition for Equality

 

In 2002, BC law students formed the Coalition for Equality ("CFE"), an organization dedicated to challenging the military's use of the law school's Career Services Office and resources while it continues to discriminate. In 2003, CFE signed on to the F.A.I.R. v. Rumsfeld lawsuit. While you'll find Lambda members associated with CFE, the CFE is a separate organization from Lambda Law Students, with its own leadership and meetings.

 

DOCUMENTS: (To view, click here).

 

Open letters in support of reinstating the nondiscrimination policy from:

- American Constitution Society

- Asian Pacific Amer. Law Students Assoc.

- Black Law Students Assoc.

- Coalition for Equality

- International Law Society

- Lambda Law Students Assoc.

 

BC Heights Article from October 21, 2002.