The American Legion strongly opposes the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and has repeatedly demanded that the Obama administration defend and maintain the discriminatory policy. Today, retired Major General Dennis Laich officially withdrew his support and membership from the organization because of its anti-gay positions through a hand-delivered letter (PDF):
Unfortunately, policy positions that the American Legion and several of its senior leaders have taken regarding gay and lesbian service in our military are repugnant to me and represent a bigotry and discrimination that demeans the service and sacrifice of gays and lesbians to our nation’s defense. I further believe that these positions on gay and lesbian service place the good programs supported by the American Legion in jeopardy as more current or potential American Legion members may choose to not be Legionnaires.
Please notify me when your policies support gay and lesbian service members and respect these proud patriots, as I would be happy to consider rejoining. In the meantmie your Twentieth Century policy positions make it impossible for me to be a member of the American Legion in the Twenty-first Century.
Laich sits on the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Military Advisory Council and has been a vocal proponent for repeal of DADT. In December 2007, he spoke at the “12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots” event on the National Mall hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers United, and others. Speaking on behalf of 28 generals, he commended those 12,000 men and women who have been discharged for being gay, lesbian, or bisexual and spoke out in support of DADT’s repeal. Watch it: