In just 19 days, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will officially be repealed, opening the door for gay and lesbian servicemembers to serve proudly and openly. So when President Obama met with representatives from the American Legion at the organization’s national convention on Tuesday, you’d think the topic might come up.
You’d be wrong.
Discussing the U.S. military’s successes in a post-9/11 world, Obama told the 6,000 people attending the forum in Minneapolis that America must not forget the debt it owes to its men and women in uniform.
“As today’s wars end, as our troops come home, we’re reminded once more of our responsibilities to all who have served. For the bond between our forces and our citizens is a sacred trust. And for me and my administration, upholding that trust isn’t just a matter of policy. It’s not about politics. It’s a moral obligation.”
But the American Legion supports Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell—and, well, we’re coming up on an election year—so the Prez didn’t mention how enabling the repeal is an example of how his administration is bearing its responsibility to LGBT military personnel. You’d think he’d want to brag about it, but no.
Even now, as DADT is circling the drain, the Legion has some worries about the repeal. Communications director John Raughter told Metro Weekly:
“The American Legion has some concerns about how the new policy will be implemented,” he said. “We’re particularly concerned about military chaplains and those who may hold some strong beliefs that they not be penalized for those beliefs.”
Oh, sorry, we thought wars were won by grunts, seamen and flyboys, not Army chaplains.
The next time you walk by an American Legion hall and see a bunch of old guys drinking, be sure to ask them when the next tea dance is.
Image via The National Guard