Foster calls for suspension of DADT ruling

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Foster calls for suspension of DADT ruling
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American Legion National Commander Jimmie Foster is calling on President Obama to immediately appeal the ruling from U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside, Calif., that would “immediately suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation or other proceeding that may have been commenced” under Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.

“Consistent with our long-standing policy of allowing the military to police its own requirements and standards for service, The American Legion requests you appeal this decision and seek a stay on the current injunction,” National Commander Jimmie L. Foster wrote in a letter to the White House. “No action by a single federal judge should obviate the policy of Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell before the Department of Defense completes its review.”

Last May, the Legion’s National Executive Committee passed a resolution urging Congress not to take any action that would alter the Department of Defense policy of DADT before it had a chance to complete the review.

“For an unelected judge with lifetime tenure to issue such a ruling while the military was in the process of surveying its troops on the impact of such a policy change is outrageous,” Foster said. “She is basically saying that she knows more than our military leadership, our Congress and our elected commander in chief.”

The Department of Defense has always established fitness for duty criteria and standards of conduct consistent with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“Our military is engaged in two wars,” Foster said. “Military commanders have much more important issues to deal with. This is not about politics. It’s about doing what’s best for our troops and not distracting from the war effort. Our military should not be micro-managed by judicial edicts.”

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We_ are_ all_ Americans

November 4, 2010 - 10:16am

Get a grip people. I've read every one of these statements, most I agree with. Do not believe for one minute that every member of the AL agrees with or even approves of the statement made by our NC.Don't withdraw your membership or decide not to join because of this. We need all of your positive input on this subject as it has gone on far to long the way it is. And, by positive I mean open minded and willing to accept change. There are still many prejudices out there and probably will be for a long time but the only way to fight against this is in numbers. Someone said gays have been in our military long before blacks and women and I believe this to be true. They belong just like the rest of us if it is our Country they are here to protect. THAT is what matters. Some people feel threatened we are not all standard American heterosexual males but it doesn't mean we cannot change and adapt to certain situations as they arise. We obviously have the wrong person speaking on our behalf!

ArmySergeant71

October 21, 2010 - 9:47pm

I'm Ex Army, member of Am Leg, Combat Platoon Leader and was privy to know of 7 men who were secretly gay during my tours overseas. No problems, hard work, combat-ready and in two cases, superior performance! When it got 'heavy' in combat, these men were strong, proud and did what they were trained to do. Israel, the UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and myriad more of our allies have openly gay service people serving. Our own troops in Iraq served with many of them, no issues, so I'm in favor of abolishing the DADT policy. Let the series run its course through our military and then finally catch up to this century. I'm quite disappointed that Mr. Foster has expressed such short-sighted views about this issue. I think that Mr. Foster would be VERY surprised to know who, of his contingent in his military days were secretly gay. Let's come of age.

AF Retired

October 21, 2010 - 4:19pm

Dear National Commander Foster, As a member of the Am Leg, ND Post 97, I hereby ask you to repeal your own repeal request of the DADT ruling to President Obama. You state "No action by a single federal judge should obviate the policy of Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell before the Department of Defense completes its review.” I believe no single person should express their own personal views and use the American Legion as your own personal letter head. Yes, as national commander, you do lobby for the rights and benefits for veterans and members, but you do not get to lobby to reduce the rights of American's wanting to serve their country. Please, by all means, express your views as a private citizen, but do not use the American Legion as a vehicle to express your views. Currently I'm a rare under 40 year old member and when I see the national commander firing off letters like this to the president, I see why membership is very low.

fstop

October 21, 2010 - 9:09am

I thought the American Legion was moving forward. I'm sadly mistaken. Maybe that's why membership keeps dropping year after year. Let's repeat now: "This is the 21st Century. This is the 21st Century. This is the 21st Century. Let's say it often enough and maybe we'll get it right. Commander Foster, you and your NEC's are way off course. It's time to trim your sails and correct your course.

RightGunner

October 19, 2010 - 9:54pm

If it is determined that a right has been discovered in the Constitution that requires the military to accept homosexual men, then the military must provide separate units and quarters for them, along with identifying uniforms. There is no constitutional right for those who identify themselves by their perversion of the sexual function, to fraternize with those who do not pervert their sexual function. Any court that tries to promote such fraternization has no basis whatsoever. There is no civil right for homosexual men to, for instance, shower with heterosexual men, any more than there is a right for heterosexual men to shower with the opposite sex. A great number of responses claiming the Commander is retrogressive, out of step, behind the times, etc. are likely just homosexuals lusting after new anuses to ejaculate into.

We_ are_ all_ Americans

November 4, 2010 - 10:38am

Our Constitution has been amended so many times I almost don't recognize it. Is there something I missed in our Constitution that states homosexual men are NOT allowed in the military? Well, let's just make another amendment if that's all you need. What else are you saying, it will be OK if homosexual women are allowed to serve? No one seems to have addressed this issue, no doubt we have a few male chauvinist pigs out there...it's just that swinging thing that bothers you huh? You also must think that while getting your showers together no heterosexual male is lookin at your "junk"....you know because only a gay man would check you out right? Oh, by the way I am a white, heterosexual female. A proud officer and member of the AL and very happy to take a stance on this subject against our NC and people like you, in your words, "anuses".

Chris C

October 18, 2010 - 11:17pm

"The incidence of HIV infection is very high in the gay male population." The incidence of HIV infection among the military male population gay or straight is actually lower than the civilian population as a whole. The military has procedures for dealing with the issue and tests all its troops for HIV and other STD's before every deployment and after plus once a year.

jmhoward10

October 18, 2010 - 6:40pm

I agree whole heartedly. I served in the Army for three years and I can say without a dought that there were gay soldiers in my unit. They were no trouble then and I say there is no trouble with them now. I say as long as the soldier serves his or her country it shouldn't be a problem. And for those that say it's a sin, it may be and it may not be. But that isn't up to us to judge. The Lord will take care of that.

navigator

October 17, 2010 - 7:45pm

To have a blanket prohibition on homosexuality is completely discriminatory. There are no detrimental effects to good order and discipline caused by just being homosexual. If there were, then we would be having problems already. The problem lies in the response of others to someone being homosexual. We had this exact same issue with integration in the military. The brass was so worried about races getting along. That turned out okay, this will too. If a gay solider sexually harrasses other soliders, or assaults them, then they should be punished just like any other solider would be. But for it to be illegal to be gay is just absurd in my opinion.

henryrok

October 17, 2010 - 6:35pm

All the members of the original NATO and Israel have openly gay men and women serving. They made it work and universally say it was a nonevent. The army I served in is the American Army; we can do anything. We die to preserve the right to diversity. I see little in these comments why I should start attending meetings. Legionaires, this will happen and those who oppose it will not be on the side of angels or history. A majority of conservatives, regular churchgoes, and 60% of Republicans think differently than the National Commander.

Robert Labutta

October 17, 2010 - 3:26pm

This is not a civil rights issue. Men who have sex with men (MSM) as a population have greater health needs and medical costs. Look at the statistics. Yes, at one time people with flat feet were excluded from military service, then the medical information indicated that there was no decrement in performance due to flat feet for the vast majority of people. A repeal of DADT moves ahead of the existing medical information from the CDC and sited in the White House policy. The practice of homosexuality in the US is NOT medically benign. There are over 2 decades of data that indicate the risks and costs. There is no downward trend in either for MSM. Take out the emotion. Use facts to make decisions. Do not use analogy were facts are available. The risks are known, the military can and should continue to discern induction standards based upon the existing medical information. To do otherwise creates a privileged status and decrements military readiness.

sugarbear67

October 17, 2010 - 12:11pm

1. We are at war with fanatical religious nuts who kill homosexuals without blinking an eye. So the gays in our country want to come out of the closet now and prance around telling everybody they are gay to add another reason to kill our troops overseas. 2. Where will the "New" sex live we will have to build more quarters to house them. Gay men cannot sleep with normal men, because they would be like a man and woman being to getter right? 3. What uniform will they be allowed to wear? Will they fall out for a class "A" inspection in a skirt and heals. When the military has their annual balls will they come in dresses? This has to be considered because a "Civilian" judge ruled that America Eagle couldn't force the gay men to wear male clothes they could wear dresses if they wanted. 4. Will they be allowed to marry in states who allow that crap and will they be authorized on post housing next to normal families? Think about this we haven't even touch the moral.

ravendon

October 17, 2010 - 8:04am

You are right. Let's kick out Blacks and Women also! We know what their agendas are! White male hetero power!

ravendon

October 17, 2010 - 8:03am

Considering the epidemic of sexual harassment and sexual assault on military bases, I think it's clear what hetero male military members are thinking and doing. Also considering that 99% of pedophiles are hetero, it's clear we can't have them teaching our children.

ravendon

October 17, 2010 - 8:01am

Exactly. We shouldn't have Women, Blacks, Latinos and Asians in the military either, just like in the good old days. It will lead to the breakdown of unit cohesion.

SAC_32170L

October 16, 2010 - 10:33am

I am appalled by the bigotry and intolerance of leaders and many members of the American Legion. This is very un-American in my view. I served during the Vietnam era and knew and worked beside a number of gay airmen. And they were outstanding troops although forced to stay in the closet. Our founding fathers and the 13 colonies got it right when they made the Bill of Rights a condition for ratifying the constitution. They had fresh memories of the religious intolerance and assorted craziness that was widespread in Europe. Thus the First Amendment to the Constitution begins: " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,...". DADT is unconstitutional in my opinion, and the homophobic attitudes expressed by members of this organization are shameful and ungodly (sinful; wicked; impious; not conforming to religious tenets or canons: an ungodly life.). I will continue to support our veterans but no longer through the American Legion.

2406032574

October 16, 2010 - 1:35am

Concupiscience is a fact. This is a more fundamental question than the constitution of the United States --- it's the nature of man as created by God. Keep sexes apart in pesonal situations --- this includes those who are attracted to one another in a manner that cannot be separated such as homosexuals. If the homosexuals restain themselves during active duty then they should be allowed to serve. If not, they should be discharged.

gunwise

October 15, 2010 - 11:39pm

A little perspective is needed here, regardless of your position on this issue. 1. Our military is IN THE FIELD. They are putting their lives on the line against a remorseless enemy bent on their destruction and the destruction of our country in any way it can be achieved. 2. As long as #1 is the case, we should not be tinkering with ANY measure that has even the slightest potential to impact the morale of our fighters. It is simply not appropriate to be doing this while we have Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines in harm's way. 3. When we bring them home, having won the peace, then, and not one second earlier, this policy can be reviewed and whatever is decided is decided. Until then, we have no business even talking about it. 4. Leave the agenda in the rear with the gear. It can wait. Nuff said.

rkaeder

October 15, 2010 - 9:20pm

SkyDoc, Tom Nev, & many others got it right -- the American Legion officers, while doing many good things for our veterans, are completely out-of-step with enlightened thinking not to mention constitutional law. I retired in 1998 after spending most of my career in SF units & I the shooting pain & numbness in my body provides me daily reminders of the small sacrifices I made to support & defend the Constitution, as well as the values & freedoms it represents. I am so disgusted by the Legion's publicized stance on this & other issues -- clearly the organization does not share my values on liberty & freedom and, as such, I can no longer be a part of the organization. No matter, history will soon show the Commander & supporters of that view as the bigoted, unenlightened fools they so obviously seem to be to me & the majority of the informed, evolved, & enlightened public.

wdworker

October 15, 2010 - 6:51pm

he people who support the homosexual crowd. need to think of this. Homosexuals, from what I gather, think of other males as we herto's think of women. Would you want a real man taking a shower with your wife or daughter? I think not. I do not think they could refrain from thinking in sexual terms. As unless a woman is one or more of several things. Too old, too young,(under age)( (in which case, a male normally should not be there) ugly & or fat or misshappen, most males would look at naked female as a possible sex partner (at least in their own mind). So unless they are in a segregated unit they should eithe act in a manner most people consider "normal" & keep their mouth shut. or either don't join or get the ___ out. We had one in my unit who was discharged on a section 8. (looney bin eligible)

Sgt Hall

October 15, 2010 - 5:16pm

No one will ever be able to bend over backwards enough to satisfy the Gay Body Politic behind all of this garbage... or forward, for that matter. The military doesn't need this interference. So if your life is so small, you need to run around apologizing to Gays at every turn, then I won't miss you when you leave. Just don't thing you are doing a Gay or Lesbian soldier any favors by subjecting them to all of this clearly organized political attention. If doing their job was their intent, this clearly interferes with that. What next, special housing, uniforms, regulations, bathrooms, sensitivity seminars? Special PTSD? How uniform is that to the UCMJ?

SkyDoc

October 15, 2010 - 4:37pm

WOW glad to see America is a live and well here. We all took an oath, some several times, to uphold the constitution. I find it sad that some of my brothers and sisters here are so against a judge doing what the constitution tells him/her to do. This particular case went through the process once and then upon repeal was sent back down with the expressed reason that it required to be looked at through a different legal view point. The end result was that it was found to be unconstitutional, and therefore an illegal law/regulation without merit or standing in the eyes of the court. Think back to your oath and think does what you say support that oath or go against it? In one instance you show your patriotism and service member pride, and the other you allow personal beliefs to dictate acceptance of the decision of a higher pay grade has already answered. Agree or disagree step up and execute the last lawful order. This is a defacto lawful order

Tony Nev

October 15, 2010 - 4:17pm

I have been an American Legion Member since my retirement in 1993. I have overlooked much of the backward thinking and the good old boy red neck mentality. I have been silent about the open bigotry of the chaplain and it column. But no more. We should not be discriminating against any able bodied American Citizen who wants to serve. Being Gay is not a crime and is not an illness. The the American Legion continues to pursue it's bigotted stance. Well, that's the last straw for me. You won't get another dime out of me. I will no longer be a member or support your backward organization.

bep

October 15, 2010 - 10:49am

Question, what would happen if DoD reverts to pre-DADT days?

wolf10

October 15, 2010 - 10:05am

I think that there are more important things that should concern the legion than the sexual habits of the military.I only join the AMERICAN LEGION, about 1or 2 months ago but i did not know that this group worried about who slept with whom.I am a veitnam vet, I understand war and I have never heard a G.I ask another in a fox hole if he was gay or not.If this is what this org. is about please remove me from your rolls. Thank you

Mikeyfan5599

October 15, 2010 - 8:17am

Anyone and everyone that has served in the Military understands those serving in the military falls under a different set of rules than their civilian counterparts. This subject is a matter of the UCMJ, not civilian courts with Judges who have no clue about the military way of life. This decision needs to be thrown out immediately by the higher courts, recognizing the military rights to dictate to their members the laws they have to adbide by. The UCMJ must in all accounts govern the military way of life without interference from civilian courts. Without that discipline then our Military will be on a fast track for failure.

wisealso

October 15, 2010 - 8:09am

The National Commander ONLY ask that the judge not be allowed to set policy for DOD. He neither condoned nor rejected the policy. Our military leadership will get to the correct policy in due time. I'm sorry it moves to slow for some, but as you can see from all the postings, it is a hot topic. One question that was brought up in this issue is how do you separate a male and male or female female in the living quarters in the same manner as we currently do with men and women. Keep in mind the majority of the troops you are dealing with are fresh out of high school and may not be able to deal with gay/straight issue as many of our age. Have your perceptions changed with age. I think we all know the answer is yes. I cannot suppport their lifestyle but do support their right to live. Let the DOD determine the Policy!

G Mitchell

October 15, 2010 - 1:47am

Back in the early 80s I had a division loaded with gay sailors. These were sailors that were outed and they were given a choice -- be discharged less than honorable or work under covered in the Navy's anti-drugs operations. These guys were put in great-harm ways; but, they were able to finish their enlistments and were discharged with honor. I did not appreciate the Navy using people in this fashion. They were able to work has narcs; but they were not able to work in their chosen field. As a commanding officer in the 90s I argue to allow gays to serve openly. I served on six ships, there were gays on all six ships -- officers and NCOs included.

Security1st

October 15, 2010 - 12:29am

If it matters, you have my support in quitting the American Legion. The sooner the betters! Also, there are flights to Europe leaving every hour from major airports in Florida, Virginia, New York, and Chicago. Your people are waiting to welcome you home, but I'd look out for some of the recent immigrants ... they don't tend toward the same gay-tolerance enforced at judge-point in America.

Security1st

October 15, 2010 - 12:24am

Guys, I know you're dim, but you're evidently uncoordinated, too. I'm not really sure which homosexualist organization(s) told you to hang out at the American Legion and VFW forums to post pro-gay rants, but whoever it was should look at de-conflicting a little better. You guys are the only ones here! You're in pure pro-gay flail, and no one notices or cares. I guess you can pool your money, and completely replace the real veterans organizations with your fakery and false patriotism ... but your not going to win, in the long run. We will not let you redefine reality and morality just to please you. We have real bravery and real commitment to something other than perverse lust. Our children will thank us for standing up to your hate-filled, envy-driven rage. Of course you're children won't thank you because your god, the god of evolution and relativism, has already selected you for extinction. Buh-bye!

Stevijo

October 15, 2010 - 12:03am

Mr. Foster's letter referred to the long history of the military policing itself. It has not done a credible job in that venture. President Truman did, by a pen stroke, change the policy towards Negroes and the universal discrimination. Had it been left to the military, it would remain today. It is the great benefit to this nation from that change that makes me think any change to a policy such as this much be by civilian authority, executive, legislative or judicial. I served with men whom I knew were different and every enlisted man and a few officers knew about them and it never once affected their ability to perform as sailors aboard ship. Please note the inconsistency of some senior officers in all branches who punished men for being gay and later, once safely retired and with pension in hand, announced that they were gay. I'd like to see it ended and let good people serve. None is free while not all are free. SJ

hhcss

October 14, 2010 - 11:35pm

Hey... Here it is in the nut shell..I have spent 20+ years in the defense of the United States of America. How dare you have the audacity to dictate who serves and who does not? May I remind you that the same freedom afforded to us by the constitution, the one we swear by when we enter service to uphold is the very same freedom you are denying to those who chose to love someone of the same sex. Now if someone wants to love, fight and die for their country then their sexual orientation should not even enter the picture. For centuries soldiers have fought and died alongside each other-sexual orientation was NOT in question. It was obvious who was straight and who was not. It was also irrelevant. The old adage goes." there is no such thing as an aethiest in a foxhole".Take it from someone who has BEEN there, there is no such thing as questioning the orientation of the soldier next to you in a life or death situation.

cwintonc

October 14, 2010 - 11:31pm

I can't believe you would support homophobe, yellow elephant, chicken hawks, tea bagger policy. You'll stand in the way of people who want to serve, why don't you ask the liars who sent us to Iraq, why their kids aren't serving.

Security1st

October 14, 2010 - 11:26pm

Although the homosexualists want to portray the Armed Forces as a group of anxious folks straining at the reins to embrace our gay brothers and lesbian sisters, nothing could be farther from the truth. I've served for 27 years and have never heard a plea for tolerance and inclusion from my fellow Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. Not once! Homosexuals aren't wanted, and aren't needed to get the mission accomplished, and that is what matters. The military does not need any group that puts its socially marginal interests ahead of national security and readiness. The homosexualists are only agitating for open service in the military as a way of opening new fronts against D.O.M.A. and for gay "marriage." As a group they are no more interested in serving their nation and society than Greenpeace or Al-Qaeda. It's a pity that the average American cannot see through the homosexualists' strategy and reveal the selfish motives behind the perception management war they are waging.

savers

October 15, 2010 - 12:11am

You sound like an avid Faux News watcher.

savers

October 14, 2010 - 11:04pm

After 10yrs out of the military I was looking to reconnect so I joined the American Legion. The first email I get is an unenlightened right wing opinion on DADT. If someone is willing to put their life on the line for the country, why treat them as second class? This will be my first and last year I'll be an American Legion Member. In fact is there a way to cancel and get my money back?

logic101

October 15, 2010 - 10:12am

That's right. Disagree with ONE issue and quit. You must have a exemplary service member.

savers

October 18, 2010 - 6:19am

So now you're insulting new members too. Good luck with your dinosaur organization.

mstraus

October 14, 2010 - 11:17pm

As a 14 yr Navy Corpsman and Past Post Commander and County 1st Vice, I was proud to serve with with all my shipmates and marines. Notice I did not say my straight/gay shipmates and marines. We all had a job to do and it was done. Several years ago a survey was commissioned by the Legion to see why our numbers are sinking. The answer was we as a group are To White, To male, To Old and now I guess they can add To many Bigots. And don't stop there lets add to many drunks who consistently seem to forget that those of us that served after Vietnam are also vets. I say that after serving in both Gulf Conflicts. I never thought I would say it but I am ashamed to be part of an organization where its so called leader can take such a hateful stance in this day and age. I know I was never asked my position by anyone in my legion post, county, or department. We need to return to the 4 pillars of the Legion and quit this holy-er than thou behavior. Commander Foster, I welcome your response Sir..

Graham

October 14, 2010 - 10:51pm

I've had reasons not ever to join the Legion, after reading all the pro-homosexual support here on this subject, I have another reason now.

mwader

October 14, 2010 - 10:42pm

I am not a great fan of the homosexual lifestyle but I say drop the policy and deal with the problems that arise on a case by case basis.

tiredofthis

October 14, 2010 - 10:25pm

I am a white, heterosexual---when my "commander" and other legion officers stop using the "N" word in our legion and disciplines those that do, i will support the values of the legion. until then, i'll complain, drink my beer, and do what i can do for my fellow vets--my gay friends included.

Ray Evans Harrell

October 14, 2010 - 10:10pm

At my age I've decided not to surround myself with idiots in positions of power. I didn't join before my 68th birthday and now I understand why. Perhaps it was the quaint charm of those elderly women dancing together in the American Legion Hall at Edgewater, N.J. that made me think things were different so I joined last year. Since I've been a member I have seen little but reactionary articles and I see no reason to continue this. I'll give it four days but this kind of un-American bigotry has no place and I will not support an organization that elects a bigot to run it. The military serves the constitution, not the reverse. REH

irmtsieg

October 14, 2010 - 8:56pm

It always makes me laugh at the former military who think all those old time buddies were straight. I had great friends and knew many great dedicated men and women. Some were gay and most were straight. But I knew I could depend on all of them to go into battle. I cannot compare anti-gay thoughts to hating racial groups because I am neither gay nor a minority. I just know it is wrong to be prejudice against anyone. We fight a war to free people from injustice and then some think it is OK to hate others. Still others throw up the Bible. I guess I missed Bible study that day when Jesus judged and hated people. It is like the Muslim or Christian Taliban to hate people and that goes the same for former military folks with the same feelings. Besides, straight people do not have monopoly in having faith in a God.

Jeff Hathorn

October 14, 2010 - 8:07pm

Bravo Zulu Commander Foster! Simply amazing that our National Commander asks for a California-based circuit court judge to get herself out of the military's decision-making process and all the pro-gay folks get their feathers ruffled about it. Yes, other (second-rate) militaries allow gays to serve and openly wave their panties for all the world to see. I proudly served for 26 years in what I figured to be a a hetero Navy. If there were gays in my environment any time, at least they didn't tell...and didn't advertize it. In my narrow mind homosexuality is a choice, and it is most repugnant to behold. That should be the bottom line here: keeping the majority of the military personnel away from this disgusting homosexuality, over making this small minority happy to be in hog heaven, at the expense of the majority. Don't ask don't tell (DADT) is not as discriminatory if thought of logically and rationally.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 8:25pm

Bet you didn't like serving with non-whites or women either. You should get to select each and every person with whom you serve? What effect would that have on military readiness: everyone gets to VET everyone else. Any objections to their service, out they go. I guess thinking "logically and rationally" means thinking what you think!

amauck

October 14, 2010 - 8:08pm

You deserve to have every bit of veteran's status stripped from you, and then deported as a traitor. Or hung.

amauck

October 14, 2010 - 8:00pm

1. His Commander in Chief has said that DADT creates a threat to national security. 2. A Federal Judge has ruled that DADT is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. 3. The Secretary of Defense has said this shameful policy must end. 4. The policy is not administered across the board - there are openly gay personnel serving in Afghanistan RIGHT NOW due to Stop Loss. If gays are so disruptive to morale and order - WHY HAVE THEM IN A WAR ZONE??? Foster - you are a TRAITOR to your nation, to the Constitution, and to the American Legion. You should resign immediately and let a REAL patriot - someone who will honor the oath to UPHOLD AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AGAINST ALL ENEMIES - FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, since HE obviously isn't. You are an embarrassment to veterans everywhere, Foster. I can't bring myself to call you a commander, since your leadership is SO POOR. (ps - what kind of an adult calls himself "Jimmie"???)

Staff Sarge Fred

October 14, 2010 - 7:57pm

As previous service men and women we operate under the Constitution of the United States of America. We have all sworn an oath to the Constitution. This judge's ruling can be appealed and if fault is found in the appeal the case can be taken to the Supreme Court which interpids the Constitution. We had gays in the service since the 50's and before. We didn't know many of them were gay. They were good soldiers and never bothered anyone. There are probably thousands in the service as I write this. They server honorably and with dedication to duty. How's your memory? Do you remember racism? Get over the stigma. This to shall pass and in another 10 years it will be forgotten.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 7:42pm

Years from now we'll look back in wonder at this discussion, just as many now look back at the opposition to non-white military service and the service of women. The damage to institutions is not done by the people on the outside trying to get in, it's done by people on the inside trying to keep others out! Just look at marriage: out of fear that two men or women might decide to marry we came up with Civil Unions. Now more and more heterosexual couples are entering Civil Unions than are gay people. It happened before, when churches refused to allow people to marry outside their faith...we just forced more people to marry in civil ceremonies rather than in the church. And now, those who said "good riddance" are left sitting more and more alone in empty churches. I have to wonder this: what effect would it have on military readiness if each and every gay person simply "came out" and said "fine, discharge us!"?

williampoe777

October 14, 2010 - 7:40pm

The incidence of HIV infection is very high in the gay male population. It is so high that homosexuals are not allowed to donate blood in civilian life One does not need to be homophobic to recognize the danger of battlefield transfusions where gays are involved. The gay lifestyle is deadly.

amauck

October 14, 2010 - 8:02pm

Your homophobic and ignorant statements show you to be an idiot.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 7:44pm

You don't have to be homophobic, but, it helps, eh?

cmcffg36

October 14, 2010 - 7:28pm

The bottom line is that the miltary will do as it's told. We have to evolve. Back in the day, it was the blacks, then women on warships, and so on. The Brits have been doing it for years. We have to be above all of this and learn to except the inevitable. If it comes down from a Federal Judge, or the Secretary of Defense, it's still going to eventually happen. Guess what? Gays are already in the military, you just don't know who they are. Besides, this could save the military a few bucks. We'll only need one head: men, women, gays, it won't matter anymore.

ravendon

October 14, 2010 - 7:26pm

Gays have served for a long time in the military and have served with honor and distinction. Blacks, Women, Asians, Latinos have also served with honor. Minorities were not always welcome, and are still not always welcome, in the US Military. But, they will continue to try to serve the country that they love. It is shameful that the American Legion, who supposedly, represents all US Military personnel has made it very clear that it only supports SOME military personnel. I will no longer be supporting the American Legion or any other military affiliated organization that does NOT support ALL military men and women. I am a member in standing with the American Legion and Life Member of the VFW, combat vet and decorated vet. I will no longer be supporting the VFW either for their blatantly anti-gay stance. If we bash one minority, we bash all Americans. It was shameful when Blacks were prohibited from serving their country. It was shameful when women were.

moyerrp

October 14, 2010 - 7:13pm

The National Commander was correct in voicing his concern about a Judge setting DOD policy. It is not within the judges jurisdiction to do so. Especially during times of conflict. This has nothing to do with gay policy. It has to do with a judge overstepping thier limits of authority

amauck

October 14, 2010 - 8:03pm

A Judge is WELL WITHIN their perview to judge on matters of CONSTITUTIONALITY. You know, that thing you swore an oath to UPHOLD and DEFEND???

SFC 3 Wars

October 14, 2010 - 6:47pm

I'm rabidly in favor of repealing DADT, but I agree with Mr. Foster that such decisions need to come from those who will have to not only live with, but command effectively in the wake of, those decisions. I am in my 22nd year of active duty in the Army. I have buried many friends, at least 2 of them gay. Neither ever committed any assault on me, sexual or otherwise, and they should have been able to be themselves and live their lives without fear of endangering their careers or their acceptance within their units to the same extent I am able to pursue a lifestyle consistent with what I believe I was born to be. But such policy changes within the military need to come from DoD and the Commander in Chief, by executive order and not from a judge in the civilian sector with no responsibilities related to national defense or for fighting and winning our nation's wars. I really hope President Obama repeals DADT, but it's up to him, not Judge Phillips.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 7:13pm

The President and Congress face the liklihood of a political backlash when they finally repeal DADT. (Which they eventually will!) The reason we have judges with lifetime tenure is so they are free to follow the law and make decisions without having to face an angry, and sometimes irrational, electorate. I wish that a judge didn't have to step in. I wish the Congress, the President, and mostly the leadership of the military would "grow a set" and actually lead! Wishing doesn't make it so...sometimes it takes a judge!

LMcGlade

October 14, 2010 - 6:38pm

I really feel like a hypocrite. During this time when membership numbers continue to decline and we are having such a difficult time recruiting and retaining veterans, I keep thinking that the Legion really is relevant and focuses on advocating for veterans, etc. Then the National Commander takes an anti-gay stand like this and tries to disguise it as an objection to a court's authority to interpret the Constitution where the military is concerned. The military has had plenty of opportunity to end its own discriminatory practices and hasn't done so, therefore the courts have had to step in and fill that void in leadership. The stand by the National Commander only confirms the stereotype that the Legion is full of neoconservative white Christian extremists. Bottom line -- the majority of veterans and active duty troops DON'T CARE if gays serve in the military, especailly if they are there to protect all. When you are getting shot at, you don't care about sexual orientation.

rrc45rrc45

October 14, 2010 - 6:04pm

Whatever comes about, Commander Foster is absolutely correct in stating that the issue is for the Chain of Command to resolve, not a federal judge from Riverside, California. I am proud to support him in his efforts to get this done the right way.

savers

October 14, 2010 - 11:47pm

Does that mean you'll support the President when it is finally repealed?

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 6:17pm

Let's consider a little history...African Americans serving only in a limited number of menial fields, certainly not as officers...Filipinos serving only as stewards...women serving only as nurses...and the list goes on! On the one hand, it was often the military that was at the forefront of change, like it or not...on the other hand, orders are orders! Service members have not and will not ever get to choose with whom they serve! I spent three of my years of service as a Human Resource Management Specialist with the Navy. Our assigned duty was to tell MEN that, like it or not, Women were also service members and should be evaluated ONLY by whether they could do their job. Since when did military service become a "popularity contest?"

Blessyouboys

October 14, 2010 - 5:52pm

This is an absolutely disgraceful position that is being taken by the National Commander. The American Legion is a veterans organization. The opinion expressed by Foster does not represent my views as a citizen, veteran, or Legionnaire.

Rizzy

October 14, 2010 - 5:50pm

1) If the homosexuals would have just stayed quiet, i.e.,stayed in the closet like during Nam and all other war conflicts etc we wouldn't be having this discussion unit cohesion would remain intact. The current homosexual crowd wants to convince the public their orientation is "normal" moral behavior. It is not. I grew up on a farm/ranch and know animals are all of the heterosexual orientation basis as nature intended. So goes humans. 2)With 20-25% plus of homosexuals hiv infected would you want to be in a wartime theatre or foxhole and blood is spilled from wounds, etc from a possible hiv infected person?? Military cohesion is a must. God Bless America and God Bless the American Legion.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 7:21pm

If those homosexuals had just "stayed quiet." No freedom of speech for them! And those uppity blacks, feminist women, they should all have just "stayed quiet" too! It was much, much better when Blacks were slaves and women were legally chattel! And we all know (wink, wink) what should be done with "the homosexuals!" It's just a shame we can't tell it like it really is! Always having to be "politically correct." What a bother! Heterosexual men have always been in charge...the way God intended.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 5:49pm

People who are gay have served in the past, currently serve, and will continue to serve. The only question is whether we are men (and women) enough to admit it. Ask any Flag or General officer (or any enlisted) whether there are gays serving honorably and what will the answer be? The next time you visit a VA cemetary, ask yourself: were any of the people buried here gay? Is their service and sacrifice any less honorable because they happen to have been gay? And when you served and needed someone to cover your behind, did you stop and question their sexuality?

bob kovitz

October 14, 2010 - 5:48pm

As a Legion member, I'm heartened by some of the well-reasoned arguments contained in this thread. If the Legion wants to be a viable and modern organization, it needs to recognize the reality of the world around it. Today it's one judge in California; let's not waste any more of the public's money litigating this issue. The Legion Commander should reconsider his stance, and the President and/or the Secretary of Defense should abolish DADT forever.

kit_carson

October 14, 2010 - 5:36pm

The National Commander needs to apologize to his troops. He did not speak for us and he should recant or resign.

Dogpatch

October 14, 2010 - 5:35pm

Why is so much pressure put on the U S Military, especially during these stressful times, to try and make a change now in this obvious controversial issue? I guess us old fashioned guys are just dinosaurs in this new age. What will be the next thing they try to conger up, mandatory vegetarian mess?

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 6:38pm

Maybe with so many service members having trouble meeting weight and fitness standards, that might not be a bad idea...HMMM..."mandatory vegetarian mess." "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Serving has NEVER been anything but following orders! Don't want to serve with a black person, then leave...don't want to serve with women, then leave...don't want to serve with a gay person, then leave! That's YOUR choice! What did President Truman (who desegregated the services)say: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!" Quit whining, do your duty, and let others do theirs! Just don't expect anyone you don't like or approve of to be separated because of your own prejudices. When has service become a "popularity contest?"

Robert Bethel

October 14, 2010 - 5:27pm

Military Policy DADT Military training beginning in boot camp places all members of the same sex in a communal barracks environment. Notice that I said only members of the same sex are required to live in this communal environment. The military separates males and females into different barracks. Now lets assume that you are a new female recruit and we have just implemented a new military policy that does not discriminate between the sexes. This new policy now mandates that both sexes will share common facilities. Many women may not like this. On a comparative basis how would you feel as a heterosexual male mixed with homosexual males who might become aroused or wish to pursue a closer relationship in this environment. Most heterosexual males would consider this as an affront to their privacy. The male heterosexual population would now have an argument that would suggest dropping the "don't ask, don't tell" discriminates against them.

springbeee

October 14, 2010 - 5:27pm

I do not belong to legion, I believe that if you served your country you earned your way and should be given the same rights, no matter what your beliefs, thank you for your service.

kavcs

October 14, 2010 - 5:52pm

Rights and beliefs? Being gay is a choice. What you woke up this morning and said “I belief” I’m gay; or did you choose to be gay? Some say you have a right to exist once you are born after that you will be told to “bend down and pick that up” or you will be the one pointing. Your sexual preference is your right not mine… because I have my own.

displaced texan

October 14, 2010 - 5:26pm

I am really starting to feel like a hypocrite. During this time when membership numbers continue to decline and we are having such a difficult time recruiting and retaining younger veterans, I keep telling them that the Legion really is relevant to them and focuses on advocating for veterans, etc. Then the National Commander takes an anti-gay stand like this and tries to disguise it as an objection to a court's authority to interpret the Constitution where the military is concerned. Frankly, the military has had plenty of opportunity to end its own discriminatory practices and hasn't done so, therefore the courts have had to step in and fill that void in leadership. This stand by the National Commander is going to add to the recruiting nightmare and only confirms the stereotype that the Legion is full of neoconservative white Christian extremists. Bottom line -- the majority of veterans and active duty troops DON'T CARE if gays serve in the military, so get over it!

kavcs

October 14, 2010 - 5:20pm

The way I see it and by the way I’m retired US Army. 20 years and 2 combat tours. When a person transforms from a civilian to the military one becomes a soldier. Not a Black, White, Blue, Gay, Freak, or anything else. You become a Soldier; End of story. I believe a person can be who he or she chooses even God gives you that choice. Being a Black man I had no choice, but being Gay or a Lesbian you have a choice. It is a sexual preference and that preference should be kept in your own environment. Being born and raised in Oakland, CA behind the bridge I knew many gay people. I talked to them but that is far as it went. I knew many gay people in the military, but I as a leader did not and still will not tolerate your life style interfering with me or my well being or the unit’s mission. When I close my bedroom door at night I choose to be with a woman and I do not need to display or do backward flips up and down the street to prove that so why should you?

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 5:55pm

Any military command I ever served in consisted of men who spent half their time talking about their "conquests" off duty. The ONLY reason that DADT is still in effect is to allow people to "pretend" that they don't!

rogerj2870

October 14, 2010 - 5:20pm

I am absolutely stunned by the National Commander and his position on this. May I remind you sir, that the military works at leisure of the citizens and the civil organized Government of the United States. We are a Republic. Therefore, the military may, under UCMJ, enact rules and regulations (loosely referred to as military laws), and with that being said, if necessary, each may be externalized to civil judicial review and comment. Such is the case of DADT. From there, the civil leaders instruct the military on what action to take, not vice versa. In summary, the 3 branches of Government, which includes the military, works for "we the people" and "we the people" have the end-say.

rdbourgeois

October 14, 2010 - 5:14pm

The Constitution rules. I don't care what the Military thinks!!! -ron

kit_carson

October 14, 2010 - 5:13pm

I just joined the American Legion. I am a Vietnam era vet, my father was in WWII and was on the Bataan March, my uncle died in Korea. So what is the first thing I get in email? The American Legion wants to intercede on gays in the military. I am married, raised my own kids and then adopted two from China. I find what the American Legion to be offensive and just plain stupid. Who cares about gays in the military? Apparently men who doubt their own manhood. We can't go around banning men and women from the military that we don't agree with. Do we ban Republicans or Democrats? Do we ban Jews? Do we ban women? I am going to rethink my membership. This is a new low. And don't give me the procedural issue. It is a "yes" or "no" issue. Either gays can or cannot serve in the military. If you can't answer that question, then you are making excuses. Oh, by the way, The Constitution doesn't mention gays. Any Libertarian will tell you that this is not a Constitutional issue.

Jim.Acklin

October 14, 2010 - 5:06pm

I beleive our sexual orientation should have no bearing on our serving our country. I do beleive the courts have no business in the military business. I agree with the American Legions action in this manner.

Marcknco

October 14, 2010 - 4:49pm

I am horrorably disappointed at being a member of the legion!!!! I am gay, a veteran, love my country, and have been denied benefits after getting an HONORABLE discharge.. I joined the Legion thinking that I could help, but I see how much in denial the legion is. Take a moment and think, remember that person - the one that saved your life in the war you fought in - They are a homosexual. Now imagine that they were not there to save your butt!!! Enough said!! Everyone should be treated equal and have the same rights as you...

Marcknco

October 14, 2010 - 4:49pm

I am horrorably disappointed at being a member of the legion!!!! I am gay, a veteran, love my country, and have been denied benefits after getting an HONORABLE discharge.. I joined the Legion thinking that I could help, but I see how much in denial the legion is. Take a moment and think, remember that person - the one that saved your life in the war you fought in - They are a homosexual. No imagine that they were not there to save your butt!!! Enough said!! Everyone should be treated equal and have the same rights as you...

bob kovitz

October 14, 2010 - 4:46pm

While I appreciate some members' genuine concerns with abolishing DADT,it's unfortunate that the military will not take the lead on this issue, the same as it did with racial segregation in the 1940's. A wide array of public, private and non-profit organizations with divergent goals have already established policies that do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. This is the 21st century; our military members are volunteers. It's past the time when they should be afforded the same rights as other citizens. BK--USRA--1969-72

kavcs

October 14, 2010 - 5:33pm

How dare you compare subjugation of a race of people with being gay a sexual preference. By the way what you call racial segregation in the 1940's is still here; it is now called mental discrimination. The Black race has been raped front and back and you are angry because you don’t have the right to sleep with another man while in uniform. Then you want to get all emotional about it and quit then cry about it. Over 400 years and counting the black race still don’t have a place to call home and you want to jump in the bed with someone so you can feel better.

bob kovitz

October 14, 2010 - 5:41pm

KAVCS--Gay is not a sexual preference...it's is as much a part of a person as his or her skin color. We do agree that there remains racial disparity in most portions of society. It's not my business who anyone sleeps with or holds hands with or who is notified in the event of injury or death--and it's not the military's, either. My wife agrees with me, so I'm not sure where this became personal about me. If you believe that this discussion is about "jumping into bed," then we should separate ALL men and women in the military since that's an even greater possibility between sexes. For goodness sake, grow up and use the brain that you were born with.

giuseppe0417

October 14, 2010 - 4:45pm

I served in the U.S, Army and there were gaysin every company who serve proudly and who wereexcellent soldiers Non Com and officers, we all knew them and not one of them bothered the straight guys and viceversa and serving abroad I noticed that in other armies (our allies) there were openly gay and lesbian personnel and it was normal to those people. I am surprised that in this day and age there is still so much bigotry, ignorance, stupidity at the highest level of command. I do not believe in god, but Jesus Christ always said to love and respect every one regardless of action and thought. Please commander stop being such abigot read the gospel and learn (truly) from this Jesus guy and remember : we do not live in the dark ages any longer.

GodBlessAmerica

October 14, 2010 - 4:41pm

Homosexuals have no more right in the military than I do in a lady's lockeroom. I love women, I wouldn't be able to help, but to to look, possibly imagine. Certainly I would take no action, it would still present uncomforatble situaion for the ladies. Two gays in a fox hole..wow, Would he be there for his platoon or for his lover? not good Gays have the right to do as they please but not at the cost of american lives

We_ are_ all_ Americans

November 4, 2010 - 9:45am

I don't know who your speaking for but it certainly isn't me!! I am a woman and would have no problem living in the same barracks as the men OR any homosexual. I bet if you were in that foxhole bleeding to death and the only person there to help was a gay man, you would accept that help with great appreciation... or at least you SHOULD! Where are the facts supporting your accusation that being gay would affect American lives?? When women weren't accepted into the military, one reason was, if a woman was in danger all the men would be trying to look out for her instead of protecting what they were there for. Now what you are saying is pretty much the same thing, if gays are allowed in the military they would only protect each other?? Seems to me, everyone is there to help protect everyone so being a woman, gay, black, ugly, short HETEROSEXUAL or whatever, means we are there for each other and no matter what, when at war all of our lives are in danger no matter who or what you are.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 6:49pm

Yep, that's the problem....no gay person could see you and keep there hands off, right? Do you spend a lot of time worrying about gays fantisizing over you? Must make it hard in the locker room and even in the Men's Room! GET A GRIP!

Dr Jim Ross-Nazzal

October 14, 2010 - 4:34pm

Every American should be afforded the privilege of serving in our Armed Forces. The argument that homosexuals are unfit was the same argument that kept Blacks segregated and second-class soldiers. DADT is a blot on our national honor.

kavcs

October 14, 2010 - 5:41pm

How dare you compare subjugation of a race of people with being gay a sexual preference. Gay people have really lost there minds. You are not forced to be gay it is a choice. My grandparents were forced to be slaves. We had a choice to be hung or pick cotton. WOW… By the way you still have more rights than blacks... What ever you wake up and decide to be.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 8:38pm

So...your experience is much more dreadful and much more valid than anyone else's? What if someone happens to be both gay AND black? Does one cancel out the other? "Well, yes, you're black...but, you're gay so the negative history you have as a black person doesn't matter all that much?" It's okay to treat people badly if you don't approve of them? You know there are many, many people out there who think that way about black people...they're racists!

lgwlars

October 14, 2010 - 4:31pm

It seems to me that you educated folks need to read again the statement. It is a protest against the inappropriate intervention of a federal judge into an ongoing inquiry of the military. The Commander has asked that ruling be appealed because it is an inappropriate ruling; and I happen to agree. I haven't read anything from AL that supports either side of the issue. But, enjoy jumping to conclusions. That seems to be where most want to be... my kids do love the funjump.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 7:02pm

The military should NOT have been forced to accept people of color! They certainly shouldn't have been forced to accept WOMEN for Heaven's sake! And now, gays? The end of civilization!!!!!!!! We certainly don't want some JUDGE pointing out the unconstitutional effects of DADT. Especially a WOMAN judge! Is there a picture of her? Maybe she's even a black woman! GET A GRIP! Members of the military have adapted to change at every point in our history. They'll "man-up" and adapt to this also. Delaying because of a lack of leadership in the armed services is not the answer. For the good of the service; heard that before? For the good of the service it's leaders should have taken the lead on this, not sitting around waiting for Congress, or the President, or a judge to do so!

Thompson1928

October 14, 2010 - 4:29pm

After reading the comments in this comment section I decided I did not want to continue being a member of an organization that has so many bigots on both sides of the issue. My renewal form and check just passed through the shredder. You all should be ashamed of the angry comments you have made on here, none serve any one well, gay or straight.

privatecowboy

October 14, 2010 - 4:05pm

I have no idea why anybody is surprised by the position o the legion when it comes to gay lesbian or bisexuals being in the military. The American Legion is a mostly Christian organization.Why are you guys surprised. The legion does not allow Atheists join. Therefore you must realize that they will NEVER SUPPORT gays in the service and I am embarrassed to admit being a member of this bigoted organization. Having the belief in GOD as a member requirement of course they are anti gay. All major religious consider being gay hellworthy, so the legion belives this also. IMHO the US armed forces get with the rest of the civilized world and allow LGPT citizens serve. Shame on the American Legion.

logic101

October 15, 2010 - 10:33am

What kind of crap are you spewing? There is no requirement to be Christian in the Legion. Also atheists can join all they want.

ebruner

October 15, 2010 - 2:38am

What do you consider "rest of the civilized world"? Those that support homosexuals? I might consider that sliding into decline, such as what happened to the Roman empire when their "civilization" started allowing all kinds of activities that used to be considered aberrant or taboo.

ewpny

October 14, 2010 - 3:58pm

I couldn't agree more with bertjr1, and some of the others who think Cmdr Foster's stand on this issue is incorrect. I served 20 years in the USAF and in Thailand 71-72 as an NCO Supervisor where Agent Orange had been applied to 'defoil' the perimeter areas. Upon return stateside, I was selected to be placed on the "Human Relations Council", which was actually the race relations council. I worked with others to educate military members so that racial prejudice could be understood, members could be taught that this has no place in a smoothly run organization. Sexual orientation was never an issue since most of us (I hope) knew THEN that this is something that is a part of individual biology, and not some sort of evil deviation. Not being able to cope with the possibility that MAYBE someone might be gay, is a meaningless concern. If the member can't function because of it, then that member should separate.

djmiller777

October 14, 2010 - 3:55pm

Ok, This board is not working like I assumed. My comments above are for those on here that call the commander names and are saying they are not joining the AL...I say good, we don't want any gays here either, let alone sleeping in the next bunk.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 7:06pm

I have to wonder what language you would use if it were not likely to be pulled. Is it that you don't want "gays" in the Legion? Or is it you don't want %@#)&s in the Legion? Let's be honest, eh?

the swede

October 14, 2010 - 4:10pm

I'm afraid, djmiller777, bigots like you are the biggest part of the problem. Too bad you have such a narrow mind. If you broadened your horizons a little, and learned something about other cultures, you might actually learn to live with your fellow man, gay or straight.

djmiller777

October 14, 2010 - 3:53pm

I say good riddance

djmiller777

October 14, 2010 - 3:52pm

I say good riddance

djmiller777

October 14, 2010 - 3:51pm

if you have to resort to name calling that nullifies whatever you have to say

scottva

October 14, 2010 - 3:47pm

As a gay vet I am writing to tell you that you are an idiot. I'm appauled at the commanders comments. We fight to promote freedom of ALL Americans.You say that it is "all about doing whats best for our troops". We I have news for you, this is not good for our gay troops. Gays have been serving in our military long before afro-americans and females. Their history in our military goes back to to when it was established. It has never been acceptable for the military to discriminate and the courts have constantly struck down our military's efforts to discriminate. I'm not sure where you get your idea that sexual orentation has anything to do with "fitness for duty" but it does not. I hereby declair that I will immediately resign my membership because I cannot be associated with an organization that promotes discrimination.

ebruner

October 15, 2010 - 2:32am

You are so wrong on so many fronts that it's hard to form a proper response. Yes, we fought for people's freedom, but that doesn't mean free to do whatever you want. And "gays" (gosh, I hate that term) had never openly admitted their homosexuality and not been harassed or discharged. There had been all kinds of discrimination in the military's history and, to some degree, there still is. If you feel you must "hereby declair (sic) that I will immediately resign my membership because I cannot be associated with an organization that promotes discrimination" that's your prerogative. I would probably feel a similar urge if they promoted a lifestyle that I consider is wrong and unnatural.

gbrink

October 14, 2010 - 3:40pm

Has anyone ever bothered to ask the soldiers what they want? Maybe those that are serving know better then anyone. I knew several gays while in the military and they never wanted to serve openly because of the risk of homophobia. There was a survey done by the USMC Commandant and something like 80% did not want it repealed.

rwhartzjr

October 14, 2010 - 6:05pm

It's not that they don't want it to be repealed, it's that they're smart enough to know it would be unwise to "come out" when there are so many other members who would just give them %&$# over it...better safe than sorry. But serving for 20 or even 30 years, always having the idea that "coming out" gets you "kicked out" in the back of your mind...imagine that! Why don't we just go to each and every VA cemetary in the world and dig up and expel anyone we believe to have been gay...despite their service and/or sacrifice, they don't belong there. Would that be a good idea, too?

ebruner

October 15, 2010 - 2:20am

Your response seems to imply that 80% of military members are gay. I was in the Navy for many years and the only "gay" (that term hadn't been coined yet to describe homosexuals) people I was ever aware of were a couple of guys that told the XO they were "were in love and felt military life was not conducive to maintaining their relationship". I know for a fact that they did this to purposefully get a discharge and were in fact not "gay".

RC Shoemaker

October 14, 2010 - 3:42pm

The idea that a Federal Judge, asserting her authority in an area traditionally and righteously reserved for our Miliary authorities, should be involved deciding what is best for our troops is ludicrous and preposterous! It was Congress working with the Military that instituted the original concept, not the Judicial system. The Miliary has protected our freedoms for over 225 years while maintaining the most dedicated group of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines the world has ever known. Their findings into the matter and subsequent actions will be in the best interests of our Nation's Defense. This Federal Judge should continue to conduct her courtroom in civil matters from her bench. The Miliary will conduct their responsibilities to ensure she can stay on her bench.

mred

October 14, 2010 - 3:27pm

The commander is just a person who obviously has a brain the size of a bird,another conservative bigot

ebruner

October 15, 2010 - 2:10am

How come is it that people who espouse a radical change in our society and disagree with the majority seem to want to use name-calling and derogatory language? Do they you think it will make it more likely others will come around to your point of view?

bertjr1

October 14, 2010 - 3:18pm

I am a Vietnam Veteran also, I was a Corpsman attached to the 3rd. Marine Div. as a Medic during that war. I can only say I know for a fact there were Gay Medics who lost their legs,arms, and died in VIETNAM. I found these men Honorable, and did not force themselves on anyone. Their blood is as Red as Mine, they fought for Our Country the same as all who served during that war. For the American Legion or any other Military Service Organization to put a label on those who happened to be gay who served their Country Honorably really upsets me. I belong to the PVA, DAV, and the Legion. I was injured and am 100% disabled with a SCI. I'm sure I was attended to by at least one gay medic during my enlistment but they did their job and did it Honorably.

Al Crandall

October 14, 2010 - 2:34pm

Hey JVinson That's why the USA is so great! You can choose.

jessilaurn

October 14, 2010 - 2:31pm

The current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, enacted by Congress in 1993, itself took the control out of the hands of the military, politicizing the issue. If the military wants to be able to make its own policy decisions on homosexual service, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" needs to be repealed.

BCSoger

October 14, 2010 - 3:06pm

Congress did just that in 1993. The pain and suffering and the lose of such talent in our already stressed military has got to come to and end. The judge certainly knows the constitution better than Foster, sorry to say.

JVinson

October 14, 2010 - 10:57am

I am a Vietnam veteran and served in the Air Force for 11 years. I was considering joining the American Legion, but, after looking at these letters from the National Commander, I realize that I don't want to belong to this anti-gay organization.

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