Legion: Now is not the time to repeal ban

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chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced this week that DoD would conduct a study to see how the ban can be repealed.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:


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.”