|September 12, 2015||10th District||Fox Lake American Legion, 703 N Route 12, Fox Lake||10:30 am Registration|
|September 19, 2015||12th District||Genoa Veterans Home, 311 S. Washington St, Genoa||9:30 am|
|September 20, 2015||3rd Division||Monmouth American Legion||1:30 pm|
|September 26, 2015||1st Division||Morton Grove American Legion||8:30 am Registration|
|September 27, 2015||11th District||Wheaton American Legion, 570 S. Gary Ave, Carol Stream||9:00 am Registration|
|October 4, 2015||18th District||TBA|
|October 10, 2015||21st District||Springfield American Legion Post #32||9:00 am|
|October 10, 2015||17th District||Benson American Legion||1:30 pm|
|October 11, 2015||5th Division||Benton American Legion||10:00 a.m.|
|October 17, 2015||19th District||Homer United Methodist Church||9:00 am|
|October 17, 2015||16th District||Princeton American Legion||1:30 pm|
|October 31, 2015||13th District||Sterling American Legion||9:00 am Registration|
ALA members have asked about membership eligibility criteria changing, given that the VFW, at its recent national convention, adopted an amendment to its bylaws changing the name of Ladies Auxiliary VFW to VFW Auxiliary and to allow male spouses and eligible male relatives to join the VFW Auxiliary. Many ALA members are also members of the VFW Auxiliary and are asking how or if this VFW change might affect the Legion’s and ALA’s membership eligibility criteria. It doesn’t, and it can’t. And here’s why.
The Ladies Auxiliary VFW and Men's Auxiliary VFW have always been programs of the VFW, similar to how the Sons of The American Legion and Legion Riders are programs of The American Legion. The VFW Auxiliary is not a separate corporation from the VFW – it is program of and within the VFW, governed by the VFW, and it falls under the VFW’s IRS identification and classification.
The VFW Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary are legally structured entirely differently. The American Legion Auxiliary is a separate corporation, incorporated as an all-female organization with our own Tax Identification and our own IRS Group Exemption independent from The American Legion. As such, we cannot amend our American Legion Auxiliary bylaws to change membership eligibility because our Articles of Incorporation filed with the government already prohibits it. The American Legion’s federal charter established by Congress establishes membership eligibility in The American Legion. The American Legion Auxiliary is both incorporated and constituted as an all-female organization and our national governing documents cannot conflict with The American Legion’s governing documents. The American Legion National Constitution Article 13, Section 2 specifically limits membership in the American Legion Auxiliary to females, as specified consistently in everything published stating membership eligibility criteria. Therefore, any changes to membership eligibility in The American Legion Auxiliary would first require a Constitutional Amendment to both the Legion and ALA Constitutions and an amendment by the federal government to the IRS Code, which is considered very unlikely.
If the American Legion Auxiliary were to become structured similarly as is the VFW Auxiliary, the ALA would become a program of and governed by The American Legion. The Legion would control our membership, our assets, our finances, our programs, and policies. That has never been the case, and after 95 years the American Legion Auxiliary is unlikely to want to cease to exist as a separate corporation and become a program of and be controlled by The American Legion. If such were to happen at the National level, then likewise, ALA Auxiliary departments would become controlled by the Legion departments, and posts would control units.
Both The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary at the national levels have together spent considerable time in recent years looking into the legalities of expanding membership eligibility, and continue to do so. While there has long been an understandable desire to find a way to include into the Legion Family those connected to the Legion Family who are not otherwise eligible for membership, e.g. the wives of the Sons and male spouses of Legionnaires, there is literally no legal way to do so without Congress passing federal legislation re-defining membership eligibility.