contracts

Should ROTC’s Sara Isaacson Be Forced to Pay Back Her $80k Tuition After Coming Out?

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Always a bit late to gay things in the news, Bill O’Reilly finally got around to ROTC soldier Sara Isaacson, whose coming out has her facing $79,265.14 in tuition payments that government would’ve otherwise covered. We’d argue Isaacson was the victim of legalized discrimination. Not Megyn Kelly!

“What part of ‘don’t tell’ don’t you understand?” says Kelly, who is usually one of the only mild voices of reason on O’Reilly’s program. Isaacson says the U.S. military paid $80k to put her through school at UNC Chapel Hill so they’d have the benefit of her service afterward. O’Reilly compares the transaction between Isaacson and the Pentagon as “fraud,” since she entered a contract and has now broken it. (That Isaacson says she only realized she is gay after joining ROTC.) O’Reilly thinks the army should sue Kelly, not merely “request” it back.

But what would O’Reilly — a staunch Irish Catholic defender — say if soldiers were not allowed to be open about, say, their religion? Should a Catholic soldier who comes out as a Jesus lover be expected to honor a contract that was discriminatory? After all, they can hide it.

And therein lies the problem: The contracts between soldiers and the Pentagon should be considered invalid, and thus non-enforceable, because they are predicated on rules that violate the federal constitution. The solution is not to demand Kelly pay the money back. It’s to let Kelly serve her country openly just as heterosexuals are legally permitted to do.