Thursday May 27, 2010

Group Representing 2.5M Wartime Veterans to Congress: Keep ‘Don’t Ask’

House may vote Thursday evening to repeal ban

INDIANAPOLIS, May 27, 2010 ( – In letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner, the head of the nation’s largest wartime veterans organization, stated his group’s opposition to repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy banning homosexuals from serving openly in the military. The House may vote to repeal that policy as early as Thursday evening.

Homosexualist activists have been pushing for the Senate Armed Services Committee to attach a repeal of the ban to the annual defense spending bill. This would secure a repeal before several Democrats are expected to lose their seats in the November elections. However, the move has been criticized as underhanded, as it would pass before a Pentagon study on the effects of a repeal had time to be completed.

The House of Representatives may vote Thursday evening on whether to include the ban in their own version of the defense bill.

“We feel strongly that the current policy has served the U.S. military well for 17 years and it would not be wise to make a major cultural change in the middle of two wars,” The American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill wrote to the House leaders earlier this month. “Moreover, the Department of Defense has already directed a study on the policy and it would be premature to act before the commission conducting the study releases its findings.”

“Under current policy, men and women are already allowed to serve their country regardless of their sexual preference. Allowing homosexual members to announce their preference within the ranks could jeopardize the unit cohesion which is so essential to military success,” said Hill, a retired U.S. Navy captain and veteran of the Gulf War.

“The military is a unique environment, in which DADT has worked well, without diminishing our nation’s war-fighting capability,” Hill continued. “Indeed, the core purpose of our military is to fight and win our nation’s wars. Enacting any law that does not enhance the military’s ability to accomplish that mission would be detrimental to the security of our nation. We believe that the repeal of DADT would be such an action.”

The American Legion claims a current membership of 2.5 million wartime veterans.

In a press conference Tuesday, other top military officials, including the former chief of the Pentagon’s Criminal Law Division, strongly urged retention of the ban.

See related coverage:

Homosexuals In Military Three Times More Likely to Sexually Assault Than Straights: Survey