Legion: Now is not the time to repeal ban

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The American Legion’s National Executive Committee passed a resolution last October supporting a continuation of DoD’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy prohibiting open homosexuality in the U.S. Armed Forces. This week, as the issue was revisited by the White House and the Pentagon, American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill released message points to clarify the organization’s position.

Among the key points behind the resolution passed last fall is that the timing is not right for such a change in policy.

“Now is not the time to engage in a social experiment that can disrupt and potentially have serious impact on the conduct of forces engaged in combat,” according to the statement from the national commander. “The American Legion recognizes that the U.S. military is in the highest state of op tempo short of that experienced in World War II and as a result there is enormous stress upon the troops in the Armed Forces. Now is the time to support the existing policy.”

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced this week that DoD would conduct a study to see how the ban can be repealed. President Obama said in his Jan. 27 State of the Union Address that he “will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”

The American Legion statement this week says the organization will “keep an open mind” to findings of military studies on the issue. It also points out that The American Legion has no position on the compatibility of homosexuality and military service.

Following is the resolution passed at the Fall Meetings of the NEC:

NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEOFTHE AMERICAN LEGIONINDIANAPOLIS, INDIANAOctober 14-15, 2009

Resolution No. 34: The American Legion Supports Department Of Defense “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell” Policy

Origin: National Security CommissionSubmitted by: National Security Commission

WHEREAS, The American Legion is an organization of wartime veterans created by an act of the United States Congress in 1919; and

WHEREAS, The Department of Defense establishes fitness for duty criteria and standards of conduct consistent with the Uniform Code of Military Justice; and

WHEREAS, The Department of Defense’s current standards and directives have produced one of the most dominant military forces in history; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, By the National Executive Committee of The American Legion in regular meeting assembled in Indianapolis, Indiana, on October 14-15, 2009, That The American Legion fully supports the Department of Defense’s current personnel policy of “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.”

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Chuck

February 6, 2010 - 7:24pm

Instead of arguing about whether it's better to allow homos to become members of our military, knowingly or secretly (keep or repeal DADT), I believe now is the time to teach them they can be saved from that selfish perverted emotional condition and become normal men (same is true about lesbians, they can become normal women). There is plenty of objective evidence to prove this - ministries by Scott Lively (author of "Pink Swastika" exposing homosexuality of Hitler and the Nazi government, and of "Redeeming the Rainbow"), Stephen Bennett, and Exodus International. But the best evidence and least understood is in the Bible. Science books explain physical, biological and electrical things happening in the world today, and the Bible explains emotional and spiritual things, with scientific accuracy. Rom 1:16-17 and 1Cor 6:11 explain that when sinners (including homos) were born again God's powerful life changing influence (grace) saved them from their sins. I know from experience.

reenie61b

February 6, 2010 - 12:30pm

I disagree with the Legion's stand on this topic. I served for 20 years on active duty and saw too many witch hunts and whispering campaigns against good people who only sought to serve their country. Many of my linguist colleagues were discharged after they graduated from the very difficult and expensive Defense Language Institute - Arabic, Russian, Chinese and Korean linguists I knew were chased out. Even those of us who were friends of theirs were not confident that we would not be discharged merely because someone had a grudge and tossed other names into the pot. The world has changed. If we ever think that the Legion will be able to attract another generation of veterans to our ranks, we should moderate this discriminatory stand.

brentrn

February 5, 2010 - 9:55am

DADT has not worked as it has forced men and women out of service without cause other than discrimination against an inborn orientation. We cannot afford to lose people who have committed no infractions other that being who they are. It is no different than the discrimination blacks faced in the military before the 1950s. Arguments against integration back then included discomfort and loss of unit cohesion, just as we hear today. They were false arguments then and now. If the "timing is not right", then please tell me when the timing will be right if that is your only objection? We are going to be fighting terrorists for decades. Are our service people such delicate flowers that they will stop protecting us because there may be a gay person in the unit? If the AL has "no position on the compatibility of homosexuality and military service" then let the generals and DOD officials determine what is best.

Perry

February 4, 2010 - 6:35pm

Don't ask, don't tell seems to be working, and I don't understand why it would be changed. Repealing it would serve what purpose? To allow gays and lesbians to serve openly. What does that mean? Why is it important to serve openly vs don't ask, don't tell? As it is, eveybody does their job and goes home.

Jim_in_MI

February 4, 2010 - 6:30pm

As a Local Legion Post Officer, I totally disagree with this resolution as being out of touch with current Veterans and those who serve today. I served 22 years, and can tell you we would be much better off in the military protecting EVERYONE's rights. "Don't Ask- Don't Tell" is outdated and needs to be changed now.

piafredux

February 4, 2010 - 5:20pm

Now is the time, because ten years ago had been the time, to end DADT. The Legion resolution's reasoning is as threadbare as my first, and now thirty-eight year-old, set of dress blues is. Other nations' militaries have, for more than ten years, allowed gays to serve and I haven't turned up one negative report, not even a negative rumor, on gays serving in British, Canadian, or other armed forces. None of these forces which allow gays to serve has experienced any "loss of unit cohesion" or any other undesirable effect on readiness, training, operational or combat efficiency and effectiveness. Some words to to wiser for the Legion brass who conjured and voted this nitpicking, scurrilous resolution: grow up, leave servicemen's and servicewomen's private lives and liberties alone, and let ALL of our American boys and girls in uniform get on with serving our United States by doing their jobs the way they were trained and equipped to do them.

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