Legion: Appeal Ninth Circuit ruling on DADT

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Legion: Appeal Ninth Circuit ruling on DADT
A Wednesday court ruling called for an end to the 18-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on open homosexuality in the military. DoD photo

American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster is calling on the Justice Department to appeal the July 6 ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that requires the U.S. military to allow gays to serve openly - thus ending the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy that has been in effect for 18 years.

"Micro-managing military policies by judicial fiat ignores the authority of our military leadership and circumvents the military's own Uniform Code of Military Justice," Foster said. "If we as a nation allow judges to institute military policy, we diminish the roles of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress and the constitutionally mandated role of the nation's commander-in-chief. Simply put, the military's role is to fight and win our nation's wars. Judges lack the expertise on how to best do this."

Foster added that The American Legion has been voicing its concerns about the repeal of DADT for the last two years. "We were told the military was going to conduct an honest survey of how those who matter most - the men and women in uniform - feel about the issue," Foster said. "It was later reported that the numbers were manipulated in media reports that falsely indicated that 70 percent of the military members surveyed had no concern about its repeal.

"(Former) Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was so bothered by unauthorized and premature leaks of the report that he ordered an investigation by DoD's Inspector General. The U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps have been bearing the brunt of the combat, yet last year both of their service chiefs testified in favor of keeping DADT. In fact, we agree with Marine Gen. James Amos, who testified that the policy should not be based on ‘a social thing. It's combat effectiveness.'"

Yesterday's decision reinstated an earlier injunction on DADT by a lower court, which was later reversed. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the latest decision "creates the possibility that recruiting rules could shift back and forth for weeks to come."

"This lack of consistency and expertise by the courts makes it very difficult to operate a first-rate military, much less fight two wars," Foster said. "This just underscores the rationale to give great leeway for the military to decide these issues in an environment devoid of politics and social considerations. The American Legion urges our commander-in-chief to appeal the Ninth Circuit decision, which undercuts the ability of our military leaders to use their best judgment in deciding what enhances - and what diminishes - military effectiveness."

If the Justice Department appeals and prevails, DoD officials will have to certify that military readiness won't be adversely affected by repeal of DADT. "We would urge DoD to resist political pressure and withhold certification until the issues of military readiness and unit cohesion are studied more honestly and thoroughly, " Foster said.

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Wessex

July 23, 2011 - 1:35pm

DADT was a political compromise. In its day it was a step forward for respecting ALL servicemembers as the real citizens they are. Now it is time to move forward, out of the twilight of DADT. Cold War witch hunts are gone. Gays and lesbians have been serving in the current long war, just like thousands of others. Their private lives have made no difference to the nobility of their service. Just for background: I have 32 years of active duty so that makes me...over 50. I look at it this way. I have three sons. If the draft came back at least two would be eligible, and if called I know they would serve. Claiming to be gay would be the easiest way in the world to avoid draft service. Why would a republic tolerate that kind of cowardice? And as a father, why should I? Because it will be my sons who answer the call and bleed for the Nation. Last time I checked we all bleed red. Let's treat every citizen the same based on the color of their blood.

George Dolan

July 14, 2011 - 12:03am

Why does the Legion have trouble attracting new members? Why are you facing a demographic time bomb with half of your membership in their 50s and 60s? See Jimmie Foster's comments above for starters. When men and women in uniform under the age of 30, who work with gay servicemembers daily, think of the American Legion they picture angry old men, a Marlboro in one hand and a Pabst Blue Ribbon in the other, bitching about Tricare and "the gays." DADT was repealed by a democratically elected Senate, House of Representatives, and president, and more than seven of 10 Americans think an openly gay man or woman should be permitted to serve in the military (Washington Post/ABC News Poll Dec 10, 2010). Folks, it is not the president, Bush-appointed SECDEF, Judge Phillips, or gay soldiers who are off-base. It is you who are well outside of the mainstream of public opinion. Signed - Boys Stater, Iraq War Veteran, Bronze Star Recipient, and VFW member

jeb s

July 10, 2011 - 7:40pm

I believe the Post Commander is in the right because he is following his conscience as is his "right". I would also remind some of the people commenting on this page and making comparative references to Harry Truman integrating blacks and Latinos; homosexuality has not been proven genetically predetermined. Where the gay lifestyle was a choice it is increasingly becoming a matter of social cohersion. Integration will not be the "same". That said the fact 5-10% of the service is advocated by personnel who live the gay life style, the services had the lead in creating how to incorporate "gay" enlistees in a time of war and properly reward those who have served fairly. The constitution assumes there is "original equality" between all human beings and America has been perhaps the most aggressive nation in pursuing freedoms for it's citizens; I would still prefer the military had taken the lead before the lawyers, oops, representatives got involved.

DevilDog6467

July 12, 2011 - 1:01am

The military has taken the lead on it. But they have fallen into the red tape that plagues the bureaucratic system we have. December 18 is when Congress agreed that DADT was to be repealed...that was over 7 months ago. Almost the entire military has had their tier 3 briefs. The courts just sped up the process and made it official.

jeb s

July 10, 2011 - 7:39pm

I believe the Post Commander is in the right because he is following his conscience as is his "right". I would also remind some of the people commenting on this page and making comparative references to Harry Truman integrating blacks and Latinos; homosexuality has not been proven genetically predetermined. Where the gay lifestyle was a choice it is increasingly becoming a matter of social cohersion. Integration will not be the "same". That said the fact 5-10% of the service is advocated by personnel who live the gay life style, the services had the lead in creating how to incorporate "gay" enlistees in a time of war and properly reward those who have served fairly. The constitution assumes there is "original equality" between all human beings and America has been perhaps the most aggressive nation in pursuing freedoms for it's citizens; I would still prefer the military had taken the lead before the lawyers, oops, representatives got involved.

Bob1

July 10, 2011 - 1:32pm

For the good and order of discipline. There are many “rights and privileges” you give up serving in the military, and for nearly 33 years I hated it. But looking back, I can see the necessity. I personally, would not want to be taking a shower, with openly gay personnel, and I’m as entitled to make that choice as gay folk are to change their personal sexuality. It seems to me that a large percentage of responders here are confused with the issue the Legion has taken up. It’s not whether or not gays can “openly” serve; it’s the intervention of a Judge in the Circuit Courts, taking actions in a place that is technically out of the court’s jurisdiction. You all need to go back to the Commanders remarks and READ again, paragraph 2. If a Judge thinks he's in position to tell me whom to shower with, I say he goes in that shower first! Better yet, how about opening your court chambers, a facility technically owned by the people, for all the public to walk in and use.

CaptUSMC

July 10, 2011 - 5:10pm

@Bob1:Now as to your other comments that you are entitled not to shower with openly gay people- I would agree. First, good luck finding a base with open gang showers outside of boot camp and base gyms. Somehow I think you are a bit too old to be a boot and I would speculate you are not a person who regularly uses a base gym. Second, in order to avoid showering with a gay person you would need for them to be open. Finally, those who are least likely to be stared at are the ones that protest too much. Your likening changing one's sexuality to choosing who to shower with, is really over the top. No judge is telling you or anyone else who to shower with. Get a life.

CaptUSMC

July 10, 2011 - 5:02pm

@Bob1: Did you not even read the two posts by retired Marine Col Scott where he discussed the purpose of the judiciary? Let me repeat: The Judiciary is a co-equal branch of government. They are the ones who decide if a law is constitutional. After a full trial, participated in by the Justice Department, DOD and the military, the Federal District Court found DADT unconstitutional. She enjoined the DOD from discharging anyone under the law. That injunction was stayed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal last year. Last week they lifted the stay. This is clearly in the jurisdiction of the Federal Court.

Kevin Scott

July 9, 2011 - 11:20pm

As for the nature of our government, it is not a pure democracy where the majority decides the standard under which we all live, but a republic where the rights of the minority are protected, even when the majority would prefer otherwise. The Supreme Court confirmed that in Romer v. Evans, ruling that Colorado could not divest the rights of a minority even when a majority had enshrined that prejudice in their constitution. The military is taught to treat everyone with dignity and respect. That is the fundamental principle in most equal opportunity training. It is certainly policy of the Marine Corps. Again, I won’t get into whether or not you have to like it, but Congress has set into motion the repeal of DADT, the Federal Courts have overturned it. If we all treat each other with dignity and respect, there should be no problem…and the UCMJ will handle the rest.

Kevin Scott

July 9, 2011 - 11:19pm

For those who condemn the Courts deciding military policy, you are not only incorrect in your assessment, but you fail to understand the character of our Government and the checks and balances that were enshrined in the Constitution to protect against any branch of the Government from usurping power from another. The Courts do not dictate military policy or socially engineer anything. What they have done (and continue to do) is consider controversies in law and render opinions based on the Constitution. Where the Legislative Branch enacts into law a policy that the Court considers unconstitutional, or in conflict with the authority of Congress (or the Executive Branch), it has the authority (and responsibility) to overturn those laws. Our understanding of the Constitution and the laws we enact is always subject to review. Consider the Dred Scott Decision in 1857, where the Supreme Court held that slaves had no Constitutional protection, were not citizens, merely property…

Kevin Scott

July 9, 2011 - 11:18pm

It's interesting to see the almost overwhelming misunderstanding of our national origin, the role of the courts, and the character of our government in this thread. I don't deny you your right to rage against the revocation of a policy in what a majority of those comments consider the beginning of the fall of our civilization...But please respect the opinions of those who consider DADT a failed discriminatory policy that is long overdue for rescission. While this country was founded by Christians, a barrier between one's beliefs and the government was purposely erected. The Founding Fathers did not want a repeat of the nations (with their national religions and oppression of anyone who was not a member) from which they fled. The First Amendment protects not only freedom of religion, but also freedom from it, ensuring that Government and religion would not intermingle. Considering the diversity of faiths, Christian and otherwise, as well as none at all, a wise choice.

Dannoxx

July 9, 2011 - 6:11pm

Well I guess I just go gay and I will have dopes like you on my side. Being a normal American is out of fashion these days. In case you haven't noticed your leading the charge coming after Americans.

greghays33

July 9, 2011 - 4:54pm

I just joined the Legion and not seconds after my payment was confirmed I saw this headline. I wish I had seen it before I placed my dues on my credit card. I would not have given my hard earned money to an organization with a commander that says such things. I support the DADT and feel it is only right to let EVERYONE who is willing to serve serve. This is the 21st century, it's time this country moved on into it!

Dannoxx

July 9, 2011 - 8:57pm

No one says gays can't serve, just keep your thing o yourself. Get your money back and go away. Bye

DevilDog6467

July 12, 2011 - 1:09am

Actually they do say gays cannot serve. True the violation is (was) the act of homosexual sex, but I'm pretty sure that we are not monks and we all (including heterosexuals) do have sex. Please get your facts right before you post random incorrect comments.

DevilDog6467

July 9, 2011 - 5:19pm

Call the CC company and cancel the payment ;)

Aaron29

July 9, 2011 - 4:07pm

The commander's opposition to "judicial fiat" is a breathtaking statement. Our constitution's framers set up a system of checks and balances and that is one of the things we are sworn to protect. If Harry Truman hadn't courageously integrated the military as the Commander in Chief, would we have opposed it if a court stepped in and integrated by "judicial fiat"? Yes, the military is a very unique institution, but that doesn't mean we can operate outside of the constitution. Despite this, our courts have historically given a lot of leeway to us when there is a demonstrated military necessity. Ultimately, the judiciary is not our enemy. They are branch coequal to the executive branch. In this case, the government had to present evidence that DADT either didn't represent discrimination or that the discrimination served a valid interest. Judges, who are neutral arbiters, clearly ruled they didn't meet that burden. The American Legion has become far too political!

DevilDog6467

July 9, 2011 - 3:25pm

.

DevilDog6467

July 9, 2011 - 3:20pm

I would just like to thank the commander for his time of service and dedication to the fight after his time was up... But this is a new time, with a new generation of military fighting men and women. Our views (who are currently serving) are different from that of the former years. It was proven by the polls and questioners that WE (currently serving, not retired) were asked to fill out. Just because the results don't conform to a personal view doesn't mean you can ignore the facts. The Justice department just accomplished what the DoD was trying to do, what the President thought was right for this country, what the people of America want, and what its Servicemen and women want. It’s not like we weren’t headed there anyways but it has been stalled long enough. I'm glad that the 9th Circuit Court just sped up the process. And Rev Pyle is correct, Civilians are in control of the military for a reason...Don't get mad when they actually do their job.

C3B2x6

July 9, 2011 - 3:17pm

What next? Do away with article 125 in the UCMJ for sodomy? Maybe the DOD should go right ahead and repeal DADT...but get more aggressive with 125.

CaptUSMC

July 9, 2011 - 4:56pm

The so called sodomy statute iincludes all sexual acts outside of the missionary position between husband and wife. How many troops are guilty of that felony? That is why the DOD has recommended it be repealed by Congress.

DevilDog6467

July 9, 2011 - 3:26pm

Give someone a dollar and tell him not to spend it? You can't tell someone they can be their selves’ and punish the actions that they do.

HNL

July 9, 2011 - 3:04pm

The reality is that DADT should be and will be repealed despite the hateful rhetoric from the commander and others who support the current law. I have served over 16 years as an active duty Army officer, including six duty assignments and three deployments. At least half of that time has been spent with the full awareness by many of my colleagues that I also happen to be gay. In fact, not only was it not an issue, but their knowledge of my sexuality brought us closer together as colleagues. Clearly, the demise of DADT is way overdue. The majority of the military and society are ready.

rev.pyle

July 9, 2011 - 2:01pm

I also seem to recall an oath I took at about 18 years old... "I will support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign.... and domestic." Funny, I thought many of the members of the American Legion had once taken that same oath... including the Commander. Rev. David Pyle

rev.pyle

July 9, 2011 - 2:02pm

deleted duplicate

rev.pyle

July 9, 2011 - 1:43pm

Last time I checked, the concept of civilian control of the military was a fundamental part of American democracy. I believe it is even a part of the U.S. Constitution. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is a part of that civilian control. As is the DoD, the Congress, and the White House. If the Commander is in need of a copy of the Constitution, I would be happy to send him one. If he simply does not agree with the concept of civilian control of the military, then I question his fitness for the office he now holds. Rev. David Pyle U.S. Army Veteran and Army Reserve Chaplain

Old Dog Commander

July 9, 2011 - 12:34pm

I agree with Jimmie Foster's position. History will show that repeal of DADT will ultimately destroy the morale and morals of our military components. Of note -- after reading all the posted comments on this subject, the majority appear to favor homosexual behavior and many plan to leave The American Legion. This is typical of left leaning groups who are actually in the minority flooding organizations with positive comments about their cause to make it appear they are in the majority. We are a Christian Nation build on values that do not support homosexual life styles. I would encourage all who have said they are going to leave The American Legion -- to do so; thus, getting rid of those who inflict a scourge on America from our organization.

CaptUSMC

July 9, 2011 - 6:35pm

Old Dog - Your name says it all. This is not about behavior it is about something as fundamental as sexual orientation. When did you decide to be heterosexual? This is not like selecting whether you like vanilla, strawberry or chocolate ice cream. If it were, you would remember when you chose your sexual orientation. With all the disadvantage and hatred that is associated with this sexual minority, if it were really a choice, who in their right mind would choose to be gay? What the hell does this have to do with left leaning groups? This is about the constitution and the equality of all American citizens. What don't you understand about that simple concept? If you want the Bible to be the law of the land, I suggest you move to a theocracy like Iran. Oh! wait a minute they don't believe in the Bible, so maybe the Koran would work for you.

DevilDog6467

July 9, 2011 - 3:36pm

What is your proof that "history will show that repeal of DADT will ultimately destroy the morale and morals of our military components" You need proof to back up statements like that...I have proof for you... Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay as compiled by the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara: Above are countries that allow gays to openly serve in the military. Many very successful and notable countries as well I might add.

C3B2x6

July 9, 2011 - 3:01pm

I cant help but be disturbed by those who insist that we live in a "christian nation". It flies in the face of equality, separation of church and state, and promotes a socio-religious agenda.

daniel1983

July 9, 2011 - 12:11pm

The national commander is correct in saying that the Judicial branch should not be allowed to dictate military policy. That said, I strongly disagree with the way the Pentagon and higher leadership is handling the repeal of DADT. As a member of the armed services for 10 years; I am tired of being afraid of anyone finding out who I really am. I will never let it affect my work performance. It shouldn't affect anyone else job performance either, since we already work together. If the military senior leadership can't get the repeal completed in a timely manner and the Court of Appeals can; I say let the courts take care of it. In addition, MCPO Jake, I have to hear everyday about the off-duty sexual activities from my co-workers. I don't want to talk about my off-duty activities; I just want my personal life without having worry about the wrong people seeing me and losing my career I have worked very hard to build.

C3B2x6

July 9, 2011 - 3:04pm

So what you are actually saying is that you want a free pass for violating the UCMJ. No different than illegal aliens wanting "reform" and automatic citizenship despite the fact that their first action as potential citizens was to violate US law.

DevilDog6467

July 9, 2011 - 3:41pm

Honestly, how can the manor of which you have sex be controlled by the UCMJ? I think that is taking the Governments power over its Servicemen and women a little too far. But go ahead. PROVE that I violated 125

jeff hersh

July 9, 2011 - 11:09am

The American Legion is wrong about the courts lacking expertise to review military matters. The judiciary is the sole branch that interprets the Constitution, and that's exactly what it is doing with the Log Cabin case. The American Legion's arguments are disingenuous. When the Congress was reviewing DADT, it said Congress lacked expertise. Now it says the Congress has expertise but the judiciary lacks it. The logical deduction is that the AL does not stand on principle, but instead is acting on the very discrimination against gays that the federal courts found in the Log Cabin case.

NDEon20

July 9, 2011 - 11:03am

The military is no place to conduct experiments in social engineering. Let us not forget this is a behavioral issue, no matter how much political pressure has been applied by special interest groups. The over all welfare of everyone must be taken into consideration. This is how a republic is supposed to work, not run by minority concerns or agendas.

CaptUSMC

July 9, 2011 - 11:26am

@Chaplain: With all due respect, please keep your theology to yourself or express it from your pulpit. The last time I checked we are a republic and not a theocracy. You have every right to consider this a behavioral issue because that is likely consistent with your religious beliefs. In this republic we have a constitution which prevents tyranny of the majority, apparently exactly what your are advocating.

CaptUSMC

July 9, 2011 - 10:00am

I would like to know what authority Foster has to speak for the entire membership of the American Legion? Doesn't he have to get the consensus of a board or membership before taking any position on this issue? In any case, as a member, I am offended by his out of step statement. The Congress has voted to repeal DADT, the Commander and Chief has signed the law, the Chiefs of Staff are all on board, two Secretary of Defenses support repeal, the Chairman of the JCS supports repeal because in his opinion it is a matter of integrity of both the individual and the institution and now a Federal Court has struck down the law as unconstitutional. What does Foster not understand? We wonder why we can't get younger members to join the Legion- this is the answer. We are stuck in the past and are out of step with the current all volunteer force. If we don't get with the program, the Legion will cease to exist. We can thank Foster and his likeminded brethren for the Legion's demise.

cab274

July 9, 2011 - 9:09am

The reality is I am an honorably discharged Marine Veteran and a life member of the Legion. I served my country and defended a constitution that many feel do not apply to me because I am homosexual. Jimmie Foster does not represent ALL veterans while calling for this appeal. He only represents the homophobic hatred of a small but vocal fraction of Veterans and his own personal issues. Since he cannot represent ALL members impartially then he should step down.

C3B2x6

July 9, 2011 - 3:09pm

why is it that homosexuals always throw out the words "hate" and "homophobic" anytime heterosexuals say anything contrary to them? Not once has anything hateful been stated nor is this about "homophobia".

Dannoxx

July 9, 2011 - 12:29am

Commander is right, the military is not a social experiment. DADT should remain in effect.

johnnygo

July 9, 2011 - 1:13am

Hey Dannoxx, What if tomorrow, the government came after you and said that you are not fit to be an American? What would you do? Who would you ask for help? Well? Please, encourage me with your wisdom.

Steve Leigh

July 8, 2011 - 9:21pm

There're plenty of Veterans and Legion members who support the repeal of DADT. I'm proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with ALL my fellow veterans. Even the gay ones. It matters not of your race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. These things don't determine a persons character or make a soldier. Courage, integrity, honor and duty for country. These are what matter. If you're up to the challenge raise your right hand, take the oath and serve. It's that simple. I must believe in my heart those opposed to the repeal of DADT do so out of ignorance. For the alternative is they oppose the repeal out of bigotry, to oppress their fellow man and perpetuate a second class citizenry. These are not the values for which the American soldier stands for. Repeal of DADT isn't about pushing an agenda. It's about laying to rest the issue of bigotry. Serve based on merit. Conduct unbecoming still applies, it's not a ticket to be a malingering coward. Member of Post 311

MilitaryHonorNoLies

July 8, 2011 - 11:15pm

I would like to see the repeal of DADT also. Never wanted DADT when put in place under Clinton. So I'm a bigot. Not a nice word. I am bigoted also because I don't want homosexual teen or young adult scout leaders on campouts with my kids? How soon, again, for BSA to come under renewed assault? Military down, who's next? So now, a guy like me, just a heretofore average everyday heartland American who served an honored career during 70's, 80's, 90's would be considered a criminal doing the same service now? "Repeal of DADT isn't about pushing an agenda. It's about laying to rest the issue of bigotry." What the heck IS a statement like that? If my country isn't really a place I like or feel honored to protect and defend anymore, what's left to do? Where's left to go? Any pioneering to be done on Earth anymore? Oh yeah, let's pioneer the ongoing plunder of our cultural institutions. Let's make everything so crazy up/down that confusion reigns. Citizens are just cattle?

DevilDog6467

July 9, 2011 - 4:50pm

Why don't you want your kids around gay men? If I were you I would be more worried about gangs and drugs then your kids knowing a gay person. I mean it’s not like we can convert your kids, only teach them to be who they are...no matter if that is straight or gay, black or white, male or female...equal rights for humans means all humans. "I am bigoted also because I don't want homosexual teen or young adult scout leaders on campouts with my kids?" My personal response is yes, you are. The same words and thoughts were shared with white supremacists about black going to school with their kids.

MilitaryHonorNoLies

July 8, 2011 - 8:04pm

Weed this out or do some kind of social/scientific study of this sordid assault on our rights to defend our thoughts/beliefs via free expression! These imposters are using tried and true marxist tactics. On the AMERICAN LEGION comment thread!! Holey moley. This obvious statistical impossibility can be almost proven as one slows down to piecemeal each comment by this army of imposters. Look for CinC mischaracterized as CNC, misconstrued terminology, lack of customary usage of jargon. Then be worried that it's being polished up as we speak. I, for one, am STUNNED. Now, who ARE these hackers?! How many other common sites/media outlets must have been under a similar systemic manipulation? And for how many years??

johnnygo

July 10, 2011 - 5:20pm

You are just a simple minded person!

MilitaryHonorNoLies

July 8, 2011 - 8:02pm

.

MilitaryHonorNoLies

July 8, 2011 - 7:48pm

All these imposter posts are what really disturbs. We may be toast sooner than imagined. Diversity first! Anti-bullying campaigns in schools first! 2014 for the societal slam dunk! The full court press begins with the United States military! Flood every traditional site you know of with the rhetoric! Make it seem that popular peer pressure is against them! That's how the 2% can control the gullible masses! But spare zero for this assault on the military! Once this dam bursts, there're no laws or remaining social mores stopping the complete takeover!!!

johnnygo

July 9, 2011 - 3:33am

Hey MilitaryHonorNoLies, I never saw that coming! Thank you for making all of us aware that the dam is going to burst! Equality for all will destroy the world! I guess that is why we are in 3 wars right now to spread democracy for all, oh my God, I meant equality for all! You know, the folks fighting and dying for our protection from those who appose our way of life? Some of them are Gay or Lesbian. Say it isn't so! Sweet dreams! Gay people are protecting you!

hold_the _line

July 8, 2011 - 6:57pm

I run a contract security company that hires many younger combat arms veterans. Most of them are disgusted by the left leaning civilian political (including DoD staff) interference with our country's martial traditions. Every year more political pressure mounts on the armed forces to change the way they go about the business of recruiting, training, equipping, and deploying "war fighters". They are disturbed and angered by things like "stress cards" at basic, lower standards for selection to allow "diversity" goals to be met, and now pushing gay and lesbian lifestyles into our ranks. This is a dangerous thing. Make no mistake, our Nation's military capability will degraded by these policy changes. This is not a time for us to bow to an obnoxious and loud minority opinion. It is time for us to look back to our roots and reject calls for the watering down of what has made us so strong in the past. Traditional American values are what made us so solid. Lets be loyal to them.

pfmcdoc

July 8, 2011 - 6:46pm

Commander Foster is upset that DADT repeal did not reflect the opinions of "those who matter most - the men and women in uniform." Yet the survey - perfect or not - showed that the issue was not a major factor for most. Additionally, Commander Foster has no problem claiming to represent the views of all Legion members, without even the backing of a survey! Gen. Amos testified that the issue should be decided based on "combat effectiveness." As a Desert Storm veteran, I agree. And all the data suggests that this issue does not affect combat effectiveness - at least, not for good, well-led soldiers focused on their mission. Lastly, Commander Foster suggests that judicial "micro-management" should not trump the decisions of military leadership. Yet that's exactly why we have a judiciary. Military leadership has used every excuse possible to avoid addressing this issue - so, unfortunately, it falls to judges to address bigotry which goes against American principles of justice.

gremster

July 8, 2011 - 4:08pm

Just a comment on one of my fellow Legioneirs. President Obama and the First lady and their Children had nothing to do with The Longest War in our history. They are right in trying to change our image of being barbaric nation that loves invading peoples country and telling them how dress and live. Those folks in Congress should be ashame of them selves holding ordinary folks accountable for all that money lost not to say lives in those two wars not even paid for. Don't you think those folks are the one bankrupthing our country. Lord I can go on on on. Why don't you pray for the President to have strenght and guidence to led this nation from enimies within and from out...

Krisse07

July 8, 2011 - 3:23pm

I've been a member of this organization since 2007, a few months before I left Active Duty. I have watched the the updates on the stances of our new commander and I can honestly say that I am now questioning if I really wish to be a part of this organization. I am not homophobic, I support equal rights for all, I don't care about your color your religion, your social class, your sexual preference, we are all equal. I do NOT wish for someone to take my voice away from me and speak for me, I do NOT support your views Commander. This needs to stop this isn't the first time that I have read that the Commander has taken it upon himself to speak 'for all of us' when we were not consulted. You can't speak for someone who doesn't wish you to speak for them. I also agree with a few other posts I have read, why are we(the American Legion) being so concerned and sticking our fingers in this gay rights movement? Can we not better use our time by helping our veterans in a terrible economy?

isador88

July 8, 2011 - 2:20pm

Some of the comments that I have read on this site are unbelievable. The things that are being said my prior and retired military personnel are hard for me to read. I never read anything like this about any of our last Commander in Chief. Now you have the license to said what you want about the new CNC. Is this because of the color of the man? Whatever happen to reason the position, does that not count for anything. The CNC walked into quite a bit of the stuuf that you guys are talking about. The last CNC was on vacation while most of the problems were happening. You not have to respect the man, however you should respect the OFFICE. Thank you for your time......

fiftiesvet

July 8, 2011 - 12:12pm

I renewed my membership yesterday. Had I read the position taken by Jimmie Foster before hand, I wouldn't have done so. I'm insulted by his actions, purportedly taken on behalf of the Legion and I'm ashamed to be part of an organization that is promoting such bigotry. I believe Jimmie needs to appologize to all members of the American Legion, all members of our armed forces and to the American people for taking this position.

Pointman70

July 8, 2011 - 3:16pm

I am in compete agreement with you. I only joined the Legion in the past few years because I always thought it was the type of organization that would harbor this type of position. I am a 100% combat disabled Vietnam veteran, and like you, I am now ashamed to be part of an organization that promotes bigotry under the guise of legal technicalities. My instincts were right all these years, and I won't be renewing as a member again.

Retired Military

July 8, 2011 - 10:02am

The American Legion resources can better be utilized on issues that are about supporting veterans. This issue is for those serving in uniform to deal with, the Veteran Service Organization is about supporting veterans after service. Today a higher priority is jobs and economy. The military has all the tools necessary to deal with the issue, let them do their jobs.

Provided

July 8, 2011 - 4:55pm

I'm an 18 month unemployed disabled Vietnam Era Veteran and thought that Veterans Organizations exist to help veterans. These are big enough organizations that could tackle this problem of unemployed veterans with great resources and force. I am also a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America. I have also reported to all three organizations that most applications for employment are now done online. More often than not under military service there is a drop down menu that lists Veteran, Vietnam Era Veteran, and Disabled and you choose the correct response. The same was on an application that I filled out in person last week for a position. No other war or conflict is ever listed other than Vietnam Era. I feel that as we were hated then we are discriminated to this day. This is the type of issues our Veterans organizations should be representing us in. Sure, I have the right not to tell but then the application reads "Refused to answer".

Lightranger

July 8, 2011 - 9:56am

Just as the first post stated, I have struggled with this when I first joined and saw that the American Legion was calling on the Justice department to appeal the decision by the 9th circuit court on DADT. I am a minister and know that we are all children of a loving God, one who LOVES EVERYONE NO MATTER WHAT THEIR SEXUAL PREFERENCE IS. As was mentioned earlier, this has been an issue since George Washington's time. Isn't it time that the Military of this great country realize this is only hate being spewed out in a different way. I remember going through training on how to deal with ALL RACES of man and that training has stuck with me throughout my life. It was one of the greatest lessons that the military taught me, to accept our fellow soldiers no matter what the color of their skin or the beliefs of their hearts. Let us move on to allowing the Military to do what it does best and allow DADT to dissolve into history.

TPT911

July 8, 2011 - 12:22pm

In your post you state in capital letters, "God, one who LOVES EVERYONE NO MATTER WHAT THEIR SEXUAL PREFERENCE IS." For which religion do you claim to be a minister? There is no passage in the Bible which states, "God loves everyone no matter their sexual orientation. Please prove me wrong. Since you support the repeal of DADT. As you may already know, for obvious reasons women and men live in segregated barracks in Iraq and Afganistan. Probably because for the sake of military effectiveness war comes first not intimate human relationships. What is going to happen when gays are allowed into the military? Do you support gays living in their own segregated barracks as well? With one per room?

stape1017

July 8, 2011 - 4:44pm

I agree, I don't know what Christian religion he belongs to but you’re correct in that the Bible does not support homosexual behavior. IT CONDEMS IT…. And, did the minister say this has been an issue in the days of George Washington. I don't think so and I also question his integrity and his source of information. Personally, I won’t belong to any organization that supports any type of homosexual activity in the armed services.

Chuck54321

July 8, 2011 - 9:44am

It is ironic that those who are always complaining about laws they say give special treatment to some whiny minority, are now the whiny minority who wish to receive continued special treatment for their bigotry. I will be cancelling my membership since I want no part of such a bigoted organization.

MilitaryHonorNoLies

July 8, 2011 - 8:15pm

minority my statistical, mathematical asz. And you know it.

weldred

July 8, 2011 - 8:31am

What in the world is wrong with Commander Jimmie whatever his name is??? Is he, and the rest of the leadership of this organization deaf and blind to the problems faced by the American Serviceman/woman and Veteran in this country??? They are so busy being homophobic that they can't seem to focus on doing anything NEEDED by today's and tomorrow's Legionnaires. DO IT RIGHT, or GET OUT!! We refuse to belong to your sycophantic FOX NEWS rah-rah club. Resign your positions of pomp and authority, and let's get someone in here who can figure out what this organization stands for. It does not stand for HOMOPHOBIA!

Dannoxx

July 9, 2011 - 9:17pm

Weld, go back under your rock, the one on the far left of common sense. All the posters who say they will leave the legion, should go, you won't be missed one bit. No one says gays should not seorve just keep your situation to yourself, instead of shoving it in everyone's face. Simple

MilitaryHonorNoLies

July 8, 2011 - 8:26am

And take heed. The statistical impossibility of the nicely worded and spammed-in pro DADT repeal paragraphs, along with the talking point verbosity, should serve to really wake us up. The 9th circuit has been useful to the social re-engineers. But scarily, LOOK here at the comment string on a VETERAN site. This kind of hijacking should scare all of us. My unit is over 90% against going down this path, and while I've known gay service members and personally am not against their serving; it's almost universally disdained in this age to see the military used as such a blatant pawn in a larger social manipulating way. We know what is--the disrespect and pompous ignorance of who we are and what those with our spirit accomplish for you scares us because we know the history of militaries and nations. Viral behavior will not end well for you either. Well orchestrated takeovers of a decent organization's comment string! We must uncover the deeper implications: domestic enemy?!

weldred

July 8, 2011 - 9:20am

Maybe you need to reevaluate your thoughts on this subject. I, as one of those in "the string below" object to your presumption that those who express what is obviously a different opinion from yours are considered to be some sort of nefarious plot to "take over a decent organization's comment string!" Many of your fellow Legionnaires apparently feel the need to express what has for too long been an unspoken WHO CARES about your fellow fighting man/woman's sexuality!! We're tired of supporting this organization, when their principal contribution, and major efforts, are in upholding some long-outdated and NOW ILLEGAL anti-gay social stigma. Get over it. There is no conspiracy. We're just tired of being run over by those who refused to see reality.

MilitaryHonorNoLies

July 8, 2011 - 8:19pm

It's not a "presumption" to see the slam dunk one sidedness of a military site going far, far askew. Obviously, some leftist blog site has community activated to this thread. Is that how you arrived here? Nice NOW ILLEGAL comment. Imposter. Ya'll from the 4077th are ya's?? You and Bill "I don't know why military folks vote republican when Kerry and Gore were vets" Maher??!

jematherly

July 8, 2011 - 8:02am

Idiotic compromise to begin with and, even more idiotic to continue the policy. Ignorance and religious fascism go hand in hand.

santanmike

July 8, 2011 - 7:38am

I totally agree with you! The HOME of the FREE and the BRAVE, what in God's name has a person's sexual orientation has to do with their LOYALTY TO THEIR COUNTRY. They serve to protect their rights as well as YOURS'. ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL according to OUR CONSTITUTION, that all our SERVICE PEOPLE deserve no mater what their personal sexual orientation is.

mark 1947

July 8, 2011 - 7:34am

Stop this idiotic behavior-there are so many REAL problems facing service members and veterans, and yiou keep hammering at this DADT nonsense? We are fortunate that people still feel a need to serve in our military, and not hate and discriminate against so many of them. Grow up or shut up and get out of your position. mark 1/504 PIR 1970

spyder63

July 8, 2011 - 6:51am

I think you are a 100% correct take a poll right here, or better yet lets see how many of us turn in our Legion cards and ask for our dues back. The Legion has No Right to ask for an Apeal for members that they did not ask. I look at DADT ending will only Prove one more time the True Exceptionalism of our U.S. Military that they move with the times and except people for who they are!!! And this entire DADT will be shown just to be a stupid time in History that people were ever even allowed to be Treated this way in a Free and Democratic Country. Truly just reading where the Legion is taking a stand on this issue is just plain sad.

jcroce1994

July 8, 2011 - 4:23am

Roger that Mr. Peterson. I think a poll of the members will prove, once and for all, that the numbers don't lie. Veterans support the repeal of DADT. Veterans and active service members are not out of step with the rest of the world. We want equality and justice for all. That's why we fought and died for this great country. Bring on the poll. Let's find out, officially, what we all know in our hearts; That the American Legion supports ALL of it's members. And that our commander is once again speaking for himself, not the people he should be serving.

jcroce1994

July 8, 2011 - 4:05am

How dare the leadership of the American Legion speak for it's members, without asking what viewpoint the members support? I happen to be an active member in my post, a respected member of our community, and a Gay veteran. I served my country then, as I serve the American Legion now. And unless you intend to ban Gay service members from joining and serving the Legion, you MUST stop discriminating against us. I'm now faced with renewing my membership in an organization that I love and work hard to support, while the same organization uses my membership dollars to fight against my GLBT brothers and sisters, who only want to serve the country they love. I am sick at my stomach, thinking that all of my efforts to make the Legion strong, are being used to support a policy that a small, bigoted minority of members agree with.

johnnygo

July 8, 2011 - 2:45am

Commander Foster, I hope you are reading this, National Adjutant Wheeler & National Judge Advocate Onderdonk are advising you to look at what you have done. You are now afirming that the over 1 Million LGBT Veterans & over 65,000 active duty LGBT men & women, of course not by choice, I mean who would choose to be gay, be hated by millions of Americans, be beaten or killed for being who they were born as, who are NOT worthy of the respect, the safeguards of the Constitution of The United States of America or equal treatment & benefits they earned for their service! Oh and I guess you don't want any of them to join even though there is a LGBT Post number 448 in California! Membership down? God made them who they are. You say GOD is wrong? Did you take an oath as the National Commander to protect all Veterans or just the straight christian members? Everyone wants to know what you think! We are waiting for your reply.

mascot25

July 8, 2011 - 1:38am

Thousands of gay men and women served their country, fought and often died, no more or less than their "straight" fellow troops. The only difference is that they had to hide a truth that is much more accepted now than it was in the past. Apparently, ignorant prejudice hasn't changed with the times...and the the Legion is just as guilty of this as those posting crude comments on its website. If the the Legion would remember that its mission is to represent all member vets of foreign wars, it should keep in mind that many -- many more than they seem to know -- are gay. We were then, we are now, and we've grown tired of the Legion's (and, it seems, many of its member's) unfounded discrimination.

tonyaparsons

July 8, 2011 - 12:48am

Hey Chief Buck 88, you were also going against the UCMJ if you had anything but intercourse with your women. Everything else is called sodomy and against the UCMJ. I don't understand why people think just because you are a gay or lesbian that you would be thinking of anything other than doing your duty during combat. If you question them, then you should also question every straight military member also, they think about sex just as often as a gay or lesbian. I'm a straight female who served 20 years and never had a problem with any gay or lesbian. I also don't agree with the American Legion Commander, I believe that they should do away with DADT.

coastie8026

July 8, 2011 - 12:37am

This organization should be supporting all our military members equally without regard to their sexual orientation. Focus on helping those who serve or have served and get your heads out of the sand if you want to keep me as a member.

Tim.T

July 7, 2011 - 11:26pm

That may be the Legion's view, but it is not mine. I doubt the Legion will ever see any more money of mine.

Weirqat

July 7, 2011 - 10:30pm

Puhleeze, Leave it alone already ! Must you raise the irk and ire of all the folks who want this to just "GO AWAY" ?Your 30 pcs. of silver await you right next to the Viet Nam Wall ! 55,000 died for your right for you to spout you rhetoric . Give a bit more thought to Geo. Soros,The Illuminati etc. This is/has become a gigantic cluster @#$%^& !And yes I was married to a wonderful woman for 42 yrs..She passed in 2007 !WAgons Ho ! LMFAO !

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 10:56pm

Hey Weirqat, I am not in this for the money. So keep your 30 pieces. I am in this to wake folks up about equality for all. If my rhetoric is too stong for you, so be it. The folks reading all the replies will be the judge of whether or not The American Legion has lost touch with reality and modern day America. Thanks for your opinion. After all, it is still a free speech America until the likes of you tries to take it away and in the words of the late Charlton Heston, paraphrased "from my cold dead hands". Thanks again! Have a wonderful evening!

doug51

July 7, 2011 - 10:23pm

I was sorry to read this, but it made my decision for me. I will not be renewing my membership. 58 year-old straight vet.

Weirqat

July 7, 2011 - 10:11pm

AMEN !!!

hughbiele

July 7, 2011 - 9:58pm

Was Jimmie L. Foster ever in the military? If he was, does he remember just who the Commander in Chief is? American Legion Commander Jimmie L. Foster, might consult legal consul before doing something so stupid as to try to reverse a Court of Appeals decision. The President of the United States of America made a decision with respect to DADT and then Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Michael Mullin both concurred with the decision of the President. Has American Legion Commander Jimmie L. Foster forgotten that there is a Chain of command starting with the Commander in Chief, the President. Anyone lower than the decision maker under military law and culture should know that the normal response to a senior officer is "Yes, Sir." No person is superior to the President. the action by American Legion Commander Jimmie L. Foster is preposterous! He should immediateley resign his post. Hugh Biele

Weirqat

July 7, 2011 - 9:55pm

Here we go again.As an honorably discharged vet of the "Nam era all this tripe about Sexual Preference etc.Why do we have to take a stance ? I served with both straight and (I refuse to use the "GAY" expletive)some not straight troops.If I don't know your preference I cannot knowingly be predjudiced toward someone of that persuasion !The commander is 100 % correct in his view !In a firefight you have to depend on the Marine on both sides of you.You should not have to wonder what thoughts the #$%#$ has. Will he lock/load and return fire or wonder what the gentleman trying to kill you is in the persuasion group.Thanks for letting an Old Jarhead rant........

Sidarap1954

July 7, 2011 - 9:24pm

I would gladly and with utmost pride serve with Richard Simmons as I surely would with Chuck Norris as long as trainig is conducted equally and ALL qualifications are met!

MCPOJake

July 7, 2011 - 9:11pm

From the rhetoric I've heard and read it would seem that a significant number of folks think that DADT is some kind of ban on homosexuals serving in the military. Quite the contrary; DADT was implemented when the homosexual community was first accepted into the military. The stipulation was, We won't ask you what your sexual preferences are and in turn we expect you to not advertise what your sexual preferences are. Thus, "Don't ask - Don't Tell". I endorse the right of every person to persue the life style that brings them the most joy. I just don't believe that your brothers and sisters in arms need to hear about your off-duty sexual activities - be they homosexual or heterosexual. As long as your gender preferences are transparent to your on-duty performance I'll gladly serve along side you. I personally feel that DADT, in regards to your personal life, should apply to every service member regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, sexual preference, etc.

pickford56

July 7, 2011 - 11:09pm

I so agree with your thoughts.! Obviously, people want to serve their country. Race,color,gender,religion or sexual preference should not be an issue, as it was in the past. If you love this great country, you should be allowed to serve, whoever you are! PERIOD! European Countries have been allowing it for years...so why do we have to be so old fashioned and close minded??? P.S. Can't begin to tell you how many STRAIGHT married men hit on me in the service. So don't B.S yourselves!! I'm a good loookin straight man, happily married, with children. So stay out of my pants STRAIGHT MARRIED men! Your the worst !!!! TIME TO GET WITH THE TIMES!!!

Chief Buck 88

July 7, 2011 - 8:42pm

As most of you know, less than 1% of Americans serve in the military. Of the less than 1%, a minority (probably under 10% are gay). Of the assumed less than 10% who have served are gay, only 20% said they would "come out" under the new law. So... We are changing our way of life and the way the WORLD'S STRONGEST MILITARY has achieved greatness because of the 20% of the less than 10% of the less than 1% of ALL Americans. WOW-FREAKING-WOW! Not to mention the increase of OPENLY gay men and women who will undoubtedly and eventually mirror the civilian gay population as it relates to HIV (it will eventually happen-count on it) and then burden taxpayers with paying for their medical care for LIFE. Oh, let's not forget the EXTRA and UNNECESSARY stress it places on the already stressful military environments. Since when does the military take its MORAL FIBER from the Activist-left agenda? Behavior is NOT the equal as race, religion, or gender. MAJORITY....SPEAK UP!

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 8:49pm

Hey Chief Buck 88, The majority of Americans want equality for all! Nice try! Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids! Have a great day!

ebruner

July 7, 2011 - 8:26pm

I totally agree with the Legion commander. And, just like in many other websites where this and other homosexual issues are brought up, it's the LOUD minority that is calling names, making up "facts and figures" that the majority consistently refutes, and trying to force people to accept a lifestyle that they don't agree with. It has no place in our military, no matter how loud you homosexuals and wannabes scream your verbal abuse. Besides, as any veteran knows, the rules are different as are application of laws when in the military. That's something we accepted when we joined.

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 8:38pm

Hey ebruner, I'll bet those guys in the showers drove you crazy! I'll bet that what I am writing here is making you crazy! Too bad you missed the point while you fantisize about what it would be like to just be yourself. No rules, no laws. I'll bet you would like to see me hang for even questioning your sexuality. Too bad we as a nation are so zealous about what people do in their bedrooms. Does that make you uncomfortable? Have a great day!

ebruner

July 7, 2011 - 8:46pm

You just proved one of my points. Does that make you feel comfortable?

transoff

July 7, 2011 - 8:15pm

We also survived Total Quality Improvement, several times!

Bruce33315

July 7, 2011 - 8:15pm

When the law has been changed and the previous law has been found unconstitutional and the courts have decided, then the question of DADT ending is ended. The debate the question further is mere posturing and without standing in legal terms - something that is not particularly becoming of the Commander of the Legion. The correct approach is to applaud the end of the discrimination and to point out how our troops and veterans can adapt to the change with the least conflict. For the historical record, what was the Legion's posture on President Truman's Executive Order ending racial segregation in the armed forces? Where did it stand? We've seen this foot-dragging before, and all those who did so did not add to their reputation one iota. Bruce Hogman CAPT USAFR (Ret) a gay decorated veteran

Burbank Joe

July 7, 2011 - 8:12pm

30 year vet, 3 year Legion member. Been straight my entire life, it works for me. Served with many gay troops over the years. Worked with plenty of promiscuous men and women, most of them straight, some gay. Keep your junk covered when your on the job and don't $#!^ where you eat. Never had a situation where someone's sexual identification or orientation caused a problem unless someone got it in their head that it was their personal mission to get into someone else's private matters. Some folks go off on tangents like that. Had a Colonel once who thought he was a mess sergeant - stuff happens. I can't see getting all worked up over this; folks get out of line. We still have UCMJ to fix the problem, just like when male majors chase after female sergeants.

transoff

July 7, 2011 - 8:12pm

I agree, let's see the real numbers supporting this initiative from the commander. I don't support him in this. The same rhetoric against DADT was heard when we opposed blacks and women. Statements like gays will destroy our way of life, they will destroy our unit cohesion, they will destroy the military as we know it. Excuse me but if I change the term gays to blacks, or Jews, and replace the presenter of those terms with a Nazi, you would not know the difference. How far we have come.....

allanmaclaren

July 7, 2011 - 7:44pm

The military survived diversity and diversity training. It survived sexual harrassment training. It will survive the demise of DADT. This is going to happen and our Legion is wasting its time and clout on an dead issue. If our esteemed but misguided Commander wants to do something useful, back some legislation that will survive a Supreme Court challenge but put the Westboro Baptist Church out of business at military funerals. It is the ultimate irony that our Commander is placing himself and the Legion in the same cesspool as the WBC. Allan J. MacLaren, Col USAF Retired

edevlin

July 7, 2011 - 7:35pm

With all the really important issues that need to be addressed I cannot believe this organization would waste money and time on an issue who's time has come. This is no longer an homophobic world, we all have or must see that the policy of dadt is far more destructive to good order and discipline that having our "heros" live a lie.

Sidarap1954

July 7, 2011 - 7:29pm

I'm an honorably discharged veteran of Viet Nam(1975) up to Dessert Storm(1991) at which time for many,many years after the beginning of Dessert Storm in 1991 I became What I refer to as MIA "Missing in America" a term I only refered to myself as, with total respect due to the actual POW-MIA's of America! I served my country with utmost pride and honor because of my own personnal beleafs in GOD and ALL the FREEDOMS we enjoy as a FREE AMERICA, which at times like this "DADT" causes me to question myself and the years I thought I'd served so Honorably. My christian up-bringing taught me to do unto other's etc., judge not lest ye be judged and worship(have FAITH in)the one GOD only, which has served me quite well through all my years to date! We would be a TRUELY FREE AMERICA if we could just leave judgement up to the ultimate "JUDGE"!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA

prkuhn

July 7, 2011 - 7:28pm

I quit!

A G Peterson

July 7, 2011 - 7:17pm

Commander Foster represents vast numbers of Legion members. I would like to see a poll of documented veterans to see if the negative comments are real or are they from an organized group of promoters of sexual deviance. Keep up the good work Commander.

pmmarion

July 7, 2011 - 7:10pm

What a bunch of HOMOPHOBS

DA64

July 7, 2011 - 6:55pm

African Americans or being a woman is a lot different than being gay.just think about it.

Conan5000

July 7, 2011 - 6:51pm

I agree totally - just like fire ants they come out to attack. The commander is right. Too bad the POTUS failed to support the 1000 general offices to signed a letter asking to keep DADT. The repeal of DADT will go down as a major mistake. Sorry to all you name callers, hate filled individuals who will destroy what is moral just so you can feel good about your lifestyle. What a shame our country has sunk to this level. Wonder how many SEAL Tms will want to enbrace an openly gay member - NONE!

Russ Neal

July 7, 2011 - 6:47pm

Let's remember what we are talking about here. We are talking about legalizing and celebrating homosexual relationships among members of the armed services. No one has said where lines will be drawn because they won't be. Can you imagine a commander disciplining anyone for "inappropriate" (as opposed to appropriate?) homosexual acts in his command? His career would be over. The gay political groups and politicians would be on him like a ton of bricks. This is very different from tolerating the discreet homosexual relationships that existed before repeal. Open homosexual conduct in our military has been forbidden since George Washington, but we have forgotten why. We are about to be reminded.

CWOSmith

July 7, 2011 - 6:41pm

I am a member and a Veteran. I am sorry to see the Legion leadership get involved in this issue, which detracts from more worthwhile activities. I would like to see a vote of the membership (on the website) asking "Should the Legion take sides on DADT, and if so, for or against?" We might find that the majority of our members think the US military is ready to openly accept gay servicemembers (Yes, just like we now accept women and people of color - not always so).

Russ Neal

July 7, 2011 - 6:38pm

I'm with the Commander on this. Most serving members don't want this change, but their feelings are of no interest to our elected officials. Part of the reason is that we veterans didn't have their backs on this one and kept our mouths shut. Atheism and homosexuality are the new normal for what used to be America.

centurion_ps

July 7, 2011 - 6:31pm

I believe that we have all fought for, and defended, an individual's right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. I do not believe that we should discriminate against any individual based upon orientation, race, color, creed, or for that matter any other reason. I believe that gay service men and women should be subject to the same sexual harassment and fraternization policies that are currently in place. Any unwanted advancements would simply be considered sexual harassment and be subject to the U.C.M.J. Gay service members have been serving, in the armed forces, for a very long time. I do not believe that anyone in uniform is diluted enough to think otherwise. They have served with honor and distinction. The fact is that, in many cases, it was known that the individuals were gay. It was just not generally discussed; for obvious reasons. People act as though gay soldiers will run wild when allowed to serve openly. I believe them to be, on the whole, more professional then that.

colts67

July 7, 2011 - 6:25pm

Dont you just love how all these pro gay right groups are expressing all their "talking points agenda" on this post. I highly doubt that most of these post are from true members.

Conan5000

July 7, 2011 - 7:02pm

you are right Colts67 - they are out in force. I support the Commander - time to stand up against these forces of evil - yes evil. To those who say this is discrimination I say - give me a break. Being black, or of asian hertitage is a benign charactistic and has nothing to do with "behavior." Get it? Yes, I am sure those with an agenda will call names, scream, anything to attack the voice of truth. No matter what you force people to say (via political correctness) DEEP DOWN WE ALL KNOW the truth and that is your lifestyle is abnormal. Sorry but that is just the facts.

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 8:50pm

This is the final measure! To vote you must provide 3 types of ID to vote in critical states. You must be a radical if you oppose Commander Foster. You must be UnAmerican if you don't agree with bigots, morons and fundimental right wings radicals! Thanks for making the point! Have a good day!

tmsaunders

July 7, 2011 - 6:15pm

Does Commander Foster think that gays weren't part of the armed forces when we served? C'mon. They were there then just as they're there now, and most served with the same degree of distinction as the rest of us. This is a non-issue for anyone in the US who's under age 60. With attitudes like his, it's no wonder we can't recruit anyone younger.

bconroy

July 7, 2011 - 6:05pm

For all those Service Members who wear the uniform with honor and pride and fight for our freedom it is time to have DADT lifted. They deserve to servive without fear of people snooping around in their personal life to try to "out" them. It is amazing to hear some of the same arguments today that were spoken in the mid 20th Century. Our society did not come to an end when we lifted segragation and allow Afican Americans to serve side by side with white men. We are allowing women to serve in almost all roles. And yet, today, we continue to discriminate against all these men and women who serve right now! If the Legion really is for American Veterans, then stop dividing our country and be an organization for ALL VETS! If this cannot come to pass, I will have to stop my support of the Legion. Man up and be true Americans--and secure the rights for all Americans whether you agree with them or not!

BarbaraMcGuyer

July 7, 2011 - 6:05pm

I have completed my membership renewal form and written a check for next years dues--however, I doubt if I will renew because of the stand the legion has taken. I am a woman veteran, straight, and have a gay son. He should not be denied the right and privilege to defend this country because of being gay. He should not have to "pretend" he is something he is not. I served with gay service members, and it was NEVER an issue, except that they could not be open and honest if they wanted to remain in the military. Haven't we, as a country, been through enough discrimination problems. Blacks, Women, Gays, the list could go on and on. I don't think I want to be a member of an organization who is still in the shakles of discrimination. Our constitutionaly protected rights, no matter what color, religion, sex or sexual orientation we are should be all that matters if someone is fit and willing to serve.

LaztheGimp

July 7, 2011 - 8:54pm

What part of that asks ANYONE to be something other than what they are? You don't ask about a person's sexual orientation. You don't brag or complain about your own. Seems simple enough, and no one is excluded. Like it or not, this country was founded as a moral, JUDEO/CHRISTIAN nation. Part of that JUDEO/CHRISTIAN heritage is the belief that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible says so. The Torah forbids it. So, society forces changes to what God has ordained. So be it. Now, we see the result, or as Rev. Wright so aptly points out, our chickens are coming home to roost. God help us with the moral decay in this country. Da Gimp

bconroy

July 7, 2011 - 6:05pm

For all those Service Members who wear the uniform with honor and pride and fight for our freedom it is time to have DADT lifted. They deserve to servive without fear of people snooping around in their personal life to try to "out" them. It is amazing to hear some of the same arguments today that were spoken in the mid 20th Century. Our society did not come to an end when we lifted segragation and allow Afican Americans to serve side by side with white men. We are allowing women to serve in almost all roles. And yet, today, we continue to discriminate against all these men and women who serve right now! If the Legion really is for American Veterans, then stop dividing our country and be an organization for ALL VETS! If this cannot come to pass, I will have to stop my support of the Legion. Man up and be true Americans--and secure the rights for all Americans whether you agree with them or not!

tonytrosclair

July 7, 2011 - 6:02pm

I really want to know what the Legions' commander thought of Andrew Wilfahrt; as a soldier and as a person. I couldn't link the article so google his name if you don't know. I have been a Lifetime Member of the Legion for 12 years now. It's a good thing for the Legion that I don't have to pay renewal dues every year because my membership would be lapsing this year! I agree with the proponents of true equality for and in our armed forces. I served 20 years and had the honor of knowlingly serving alongside excellent soldiers who trusted and respected me enough to confide their alternative sexual orientation. The American Legion leadership has no place pretending to speak for the membership in stating that the repeal of DADT is a bad thing. The American Legion is NOT a religious organization first. The leadership focuses so much on the prayers that open meetings that they have forgotten this. Community and veteran service; first and foremost, is why I joined. AIRBORNE!

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 6:07pm

Hey tonytrosclair, Simply demand your unused PUFL dues back & send in your perm card to National!

Former-Deptt-Vice-Cmdr

July 7, 2011 - 5:50pm

I am a Viet-Nam era veteran. During my service I encountered over 20 service members who I found to be gay. There was only 2 of them that ever made an overt pass at me and being straight I declined and that was the end of the matter. I had no problem serving alongside of them, no problem sleeping in the same barracks as they were quartered, and even showered with them as in those days the barracks had a single shower room with multiple shower heads. A man who is secure in his sexuality has no problems being around gays. It is the ones who have doubts about their own sexuality who are scared to be around gay people. Such insecure people usually have engaged in experimental sex with a friend. Such experimentation is very well documented and accepted by the psychological associations of the world as normal sexual growth. I for one am very secure and have been happily married for 42 wonderful years to my wife with 3 kids and 4 grand-kids so far. GET REAL NATIONAL and represent ALL of us.

Dray

July 7, 2011 - 5:43pm

I have been reading and with the Legion for a little bit now and I have never been filled with such rage and disgrace for being a member of this organization. It seems that politics are seeping into this organization as they did FOX, CNN, MSNBC and all the rest of the news stations that now broadcast either Black or White (Republican/Democrat biased news). Now, Legion Commander Foster is buying into this? Definitely not a good way to go! If I fought for freedom and the rights of everyone, why the hell is Commander Foster trying to take them away from a certain group of people? That is UNAMERICAN plain and simple. I believe in what the founding fathers wanted for this country and I believe in "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" and frankly this "official" standpoint is unacceptable. I say that not because his viewpoint is different, but because it is wrong by violating the rights of fellow soldiers who want to be free to be who they are.

igoape

July 7, 2011 - 5:41pm

I received my member packet in the mail today informing me that I was eligible to join the American Legion as I am a war time vet. I log on for more information and I find this deluded rant by Commander Foster. I will not be joining a group that promotes hatred, ignorance and intolerance. DADT had been repealed. Congress passed it. Our president signed it. It is in the process of being implemented as we speak. The court order only acknowledges the fact that this outdated law needs to go. No gays in the military? What next? No women? No Hispanics? No Blacks? Commander Foster might as well wear a swastika and start screaming "WHITE POWER!" See how far that will get you. I served my country admirably. Were there gays in the military then? Yes. I am sure there always has and always will be. My application is going in the trash.

colts67

July 7, 2011 - 6:21pm

I highly doubt you served....so dont worry about sending in you application.

Liza2000us2001

July 7, 2011 - 5:37pm

That's why I never renew my one time membership since I started learning on how the American Legion discriminates so much against the gay community. When the bill for the DADT was in the hands of congress in 2010 the American Legion requested to withdrawal DADT from the Defense Bill in 2010. They claimed that DADT will have affected the bill because it would have taken long to pass the bill but now I see what the real reason was. Now they show that they hate gays and don't want to do nothing with them. I am a former Army Veteran discharged under DADT and as anyone else in there suffer, I cry, I feel, I dream and I work why I have to be treated differently from the straights? Is all about religious beliefs and not to mention that most people in the American Legion are White "old" males who think that being a homosexual is less because any man that acts like a woman is less. This is crap and I am proud I am no longer a member of this shameful org. =)

wolfmn26

July 7, 2011 - 5:37pm

After reading the comments posted here, it seems that most people don't understand what the Commander is saying. The Commander is not saying don't let the gays in, he's saying that it's not the Courts position to dictate policy to the military. Issues like this are for the Commander-In-Chief, Congress, the DOD, and the commanders on the ground to make. This particular court (9th Circuit) is the most liberal court in the nation and instead of interpreting the law, they legislate from the bench and seem to think they are in the business to make laws. The 9th Circuit has always done this and if they had their way, they would disband the military. Commander Foster, stand firm on this issue. I support you 100% and there are other members who do always. Don't let a small minority get to you.

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 5:49pm

Hey wolfmn26, I sure hope you are not referring to the "small minority" of people who won't join The American Legion when they read that BS in the newspaper or the thousands of members who just received their renewal notice a day before reading what we are talking about. I am sorry if this hurts your feelings but The Commander just made it exremely more difficult to recruit or retain members, except for the bigots, morons and hipocrits! I guess the "majority" will win here! Have a nice day!

Former-Deptt-Vice-Cmdr

July 7, 2011 - 5:36pm

Just how many members of the American Legion does the National Commander represent as being opposed to the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue law? I know for certain that I for one was never consulted by National on the subject and my post never received a query from National asking for the post to conduct a survey of the members and report the results to National!!! As the Judge Advocate for my current post I certainly would have been cognizant of any such polling being requested by National. I served from 1963 thru 1967 and during the time of my service I was aware of more than 20 service members who were gay. They served honorably, had excellent performance records and certainly did not make sexual advances on other servicemen in their units. I feel that our National Officers have taken to expressing their own PERSONAL opinion as the official opinion of the American Legion. It is my hope the incoming slate of officers will be more honest.

cwintonc

July 7, 2011 - 5:32pm

Man you guys just can't help yourselves. The scary gay people are coming, OH MY! I'd rather serve with a gay person, than our durrent Commander!

rickb

July 7, 2011 - 5:31pm

This is exactly why I am not renewing my membership - you are losing a whole generation of veterans - more like two - who want to be a member of a veterans organization not one led by a bunch of old dudes who carry on about "the gays" and get involved in right-wing crap like bashing illegal immigrants. It seems this organization is dying a slow death.

daveej

July 7, 2011 - 5:24pm

Who do you want in the fox hole next to you? Chuck Norris or Richard Simmons? Yes there have always been gays in the military, but they new enough to avoid contact with straight guys. If they are allowed in, they should be kept in separate units. Thank you Commander for standing up for what is right. Next thing they will demand is the right to marry. Enough is enough!

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 5:42pm

Hey daveej, Very nice! So when the gays become illegal in your perfect world, remember this: you are next! I hope you are not black, jewish, muslim, latino, asian, and so forth! You better be a white christian staight male with kids, grandkids and lots of guns in your house when the whole world you would oppress comes after you! Have a nice day!

madhatter

July 7, 2011 - 5:22pm

The poll was rigged and the results were written before any came in. I'm with the Commander on this 100%. Repeal this detestable ruling immediately.

cawalte

July 7, 2011 - 5:20pm

I am appalled by the negative response this article is receiving in this forum. The repeal of DADT is a political stunt by the administration made only to shore up his political base. The president could care less about gay rights. His only concern is being elected to a second term. The 9th District is acting purely as and activist court and frankly they have no business in doing so. This is a decision rests with the Commander-in-Chief, but the decision should also be made with the advice and support of military senior commanders and the Department of Defense (all of which has expressed concern with the repeal of DADT). As with the troop draw down in Afghanistan, Obama does not listen to the advice of his military leaders. As a result President Obama will leave office (hopefully following the next election) by making America less safe than it was when he took office. Frankly I would like to thank Commander Foster for his position on this issue, and I support him 100%.

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 5:34pm

Hey cawalte, If the Commander-in-Chief is responsible, then why the "This is a decision rests with the Commander-in-Chief, but the decision should also be made with the advice and support of military senior commanders and the Department of Defense" Just because you don't like the President? How loyal were you when you served in the Military to your Commander-in-Chief? You are a hipocrit! Want a different President?, don't forget to vote!

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 5:14pm

Commander Foster, With all due respect to all the good work we do in The American Legion I am now ashamed to be a member! I thought the Preamble of the Consitution of The American Legion meant something as a guidline of our core values: "To uphold and defend the constitution of the United States of America, to maintain law and order....." The Congress of the United States repealed DADT. The Commmander-in-Chief, the President of the United States signed the repeal into LAW! The 9th Circuit COURT ordered the Department of Defense to complete the certification of the LAW NOW! They were stalling, citizens went to court to seek relief to get the process of the repeal completed as ordered by Congress & the President! So our request to the Department of Justice is in defiance of the LAW and our Preamble! Shame on you! Shame on The American Legion! As a Openly Gay Army Veteran and Member of The American Legion, I am ashamed of who WE are!

ajc23

July 7, 2011 - 5:11pm

I fully support Commander Foster in his efforts to keep the judiciary out of military affairs. This effort to repeal DADT is social engineering as well as political correctness which has no place in our military. I am proud to be a member!!

johnnygo

July 7, 2011 - 5:28pm

Hey ajc23, You are full of bull! Political correctness? You mean women being able to vote? Blacks able to ride in the front of the bus, drink water were they choose or marry whites? You mean integrating the blacks into the Army & later the rest of the Armed Forces? You mean fighting in WW I, WW II, Korea, Viet-Nam, Lebannon, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan & all the other covert operations we do? All of these were not in any way political or correct? C'mon, you supported something from the above or are you just a hater & a bigot? I said it above: You are full of bull!

true american 21

July 7, 2011 - 5:06pm

The Legions position and the wasting of money on this issue disgust me. I want nothing further to do with this organization.

taker01

July 7, 2011 - 5:02pm

I think it is time for the Legion to clean house! No wonder membership is down. Foster is time to leave!

palmsprings_shirl

July 7, 2011 - 4:52pm

I am embarrassed and ashamed to have served with anyone who turns their back on a fellow service member. All of you HATERS disgrace everyone who proudly serves and all the more respect for those who are hated but still choose to serve their country in silence. Step down Foster and the rest of you haters - DISGRACEFUL!!

mmhall

July 7, 2011 - 4:45pm

I too am disappointed with the Legion Commander. If he continues to be in a position to speak on behalf of the Legion I will no longer be a member of the American Legion. I truly hope the American Legion recognizes that times have changed and works to support progress in assuring rights and freedoms instead of the opposite.

piafredux

July 7, 2011 - 4:41pm

In my first comment I made this error: "your anti-DADT nonsense" - I ought to have typed, "your PRO-DADT nonsense."

piafredux

July 7, 2011 - 4:37pm

Bravo, rogerj2870 ! You nailed it: civilian authority over the military. Commander Foster, does our Legion, for whose entire membership you presume to speak, want Moslems coming here and imposing sharia law in our civil sphere and in our military? Does our Legion want the US to operate on race-privileging Affirmative Action & all the other race-privileging laws, regulations, administrations, & bureaucracies - or does our Legion advocate and support an individual's qualification solely by professional merit in his freely chosen vocation? You should be be careful, Commander Foster, of the evils which your anti-DADT nonsense tempts to be put into place above "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Stop squandering our dues, Commander Foster, on using our Legion as a bully pulpit to promulgate your personal prejudices. Spend our dues on advocating FOR our vets and serving troops, not on stabbing only the ones among them you disapprove of in their backs.

fstop07666

July 7, 2011 - 5:11pm

Amen brother Bravo, Amen.

ret_marine

July 7, 2011 - 4:30pm

I resigned my membership in the American Legion after reading the Commander's comments calling for the release of the Bin Laden photos. This reinforces my decision. Commander Foster and the NEC are an embarrassment to American veterans.

whaggard1

July 7, 2011 - 4:24pm

I've had enough of this. DADT is a reality , its time for the commander of the Legion to get on board. 50 years ago anti-gay might have worked, although I didn't care for in the 70's. I thought it was wrong then and its wrong now. DADT was a step in the right direction then, but its time for it to be replaced. The military replaced anti-black with universal service, now its time to replace anti-gay the same way.

patriot

July 7, 2011 - 4:22pm

I'm glad that someone is taking a stand in an attempt to end this politically correct social experiment. Go for it Jimmie!

trekbross

July 7, 2011 - 4:13pm

as a member of the al im asking yo cdr to step down and resign your position

jschu46

July 7, 2011 - 4:09pm

The Commander of the American Legion needs to button his big mouth on matters like this. He has no authority to speak on behalf of all Legion Members on these types of matters. I suppose he would also be against integration of the military, but in case he is not aware, that happened over 50 years ago. So, shut your big mouth.

hanliw85

July 7, 2011 - 4:08pm

Commander Foster: "the Ninth Circuit decision, which undercuts the ability of our military leaders to use their best judgment in deciding what enhances - and what diminishes - military effectiveness." This decision does not undercut military leadership. To the contrary, what REALLY undercuts the authority of our military is an outdated, discriminatory law that forces commanders to fire highly qualified, patriotic service members. Any military leader who thinks it will enhance effectiveness to fire a top performer simply because of who they love, which surely harms unit cohesion, probably should not be in that position of power.

RoryJ8171

July 7, 2011 - 4:02pm

It's about time. Next thing you know they'll let women in the military. Remember when there was a draft and senators' sons had to get special assignments in the national guard? I think it is about time that our all volunteer force was comprised of a diverse mix of our country's finest. Hooray for the end of DADT!

csacra

July 7, 2011 - 4:02pm

Congress already passed the law to repeal DADT, and the President signed it! It's a waste of the federal government's money (which they don't have) to fight to overturn a ruling that supports legislation that has already been passed in will shortly be implemented. Why does the Legion have to make itself look stupid by fighting against moot points? Why not argue also that we should have hearings to out communists in the federal government? STOP wasting my money (as a member) and my money (as a federal tax payer) over this issue, American Legion! I'm sick of hearing about the Legion fighting what should already be moot! Active duty Lieutenant Commander, USN.

trekbross

July 7, 2011 - 3:59pm

i think its wrong to appeal it i was in the service for twenty years and im gay and it was hell serving and keeping things to yourselve a few people new and did not care we had a few gay men in my office and it was no big deal pople do not care what sex you do or are commander foster needs to get a life with all the disrepect possible hes an old man who needs to move on and reilize that no one cares about the policy any more and the person that says"How can anyone legislate a perverted bedroom activity which is what homosexuality actually is all about." you are soooooooo wrong get a life its not a choice if i had a choice i would be straigt and havesex with women but thats not me my dna is screwed up and i like men so what its who i am and im proud of it and i think that is one reason their is so many suisides because of guys or girls are so ashamed of who they are and they cant handle it ive though about it so many time and almost did one time but know i can be myself thank god forfre

junx

July 7, 2011 - 4:02pm

this is one of many reasons why I stopped my AL membership. this is also one of many reasons why AL isn't appealing to young/new vets. 05-06, 07-08 iraqi war vet

reikirobyn

July 7, 2011 - 3:59pm

It is time to put the issue of serving alongside homosexuals behind us. We have served with gays and lesbians since we've had an armed force. If you don't flaunt your heterosexuality, they won't flaunt their homosexuality. In moving on, it is also time for the services to allow for the transition of transsexual and intersexed members to their proper genders. These medical conditions have no bearing on a person's service.

Jim_in_MI

July 7, 2011 - 3:54pm

As a retired U.S. Army Captain, and having served our nation for 21 years in uniform, and now the last five as a member of the Legion, I am deeply, deeply disappointed in the Legion Commander. What the hell are you thinking? I strongly urge you to keep out of the DADT issue. The issue has been resovled. You obey the orders of the President, and you support the decisions of the Courts in this country. If you don't like it, tough. If you can't live with that- then I strongly suggest, Commander Jimmie Foster, that you resign. This isn't an issue that the Legion should be fighting on the side of wrong. This is an issue that the Legion should be fighting on the side of right. Foster, you're wrong.

swtolebill

July 7, 2011 - 3:51pm

I thought the American Legion was supposed to be non-political. I think you need to get real.... Come out of the 19th and 20th centuries and recognize that sexual orientation has nothing to do with military fitness. Only the conservative homophobes would let this affect their own military effectiveness. I am not homosexual, but I know they have a right to that condition. It is not a matter of preference, but a condition forced on them by nature. As though that weren't bad enough, you want to persecute them further. Give it a rest!!!!!

rogerj2870

July 7, 2011 - 3:51pm

You still don't get it do you Jimmie? The military reports to the EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE, and when and if necessary, the JUDICIAL branches of the duly elected and appointed CIVILIAN sleeve of our REPUBLIC. Go back to school sir, and read the Federalist Papers, then move forward from there. You DO NOT represent the best-in-class of the Legion.

jellewis

July 7, 2011 - 3:42pm

Hopefully, eventually, we can have a less bigoted Legion commander...one who recognizes that the constitution allows all citizens equal rights, regardless of leadership's personal,twisted moral values. Maybe there should be a survey taken to discover just how many Legion members served with honor in the past, being forced to falsify personal information regarding their sexuality, which has nothing to do with their performance on the job. 14-yr Veteran (Korea and Vietnam)

cdanders

July 7, 2011 - 3:21pm

Yea for Commander Foster!! How can anyone legislate a perverted bedroom activity which is what homosexuality actually is all about. If we had a real commander-in-chief, we would not be in the mess we currently find ourselves.

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