Gays In The Military Supported By People Who Don't Like Homosexuality

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CNN has a poll out this morning that shows more resounding support for letting gays and lesbians serve openly in the military, which, in itself, is nothing new: CNN's poll results--69% support for "permitting people who are openly gay or lesbian to serve in the military," vs. 27% opposed--fall within the range of other major pollsters (CBS/NY Times showed 59% support/29 opposition; ABC/Washington Post showed 83% support/15% opposition).

But what CNN's results do illustrate, in a nice side-by-side comparison, is that letting gays serve openly in the military is popular with some people who think homosexuality itself is wrong.

CNN asked respondents whether they "personally think that homosexual relationships between consenting adults is morally wrong, or not a moral issue"; 48% said it's wrong, and 50% said it's not a moral issue.

Since 69% of those respondents support letting gays serve openly, that means some of those people think both that homosexuality is wrong and that gays should be able to serve openly.

Marc has noted that there's a nomenclature issue at play: gays in the military poll a lot better as "gays" in the military, while people don't seem to like "homosexuals" serving as much. The above phenomenon in CNN's results probably furthers that point--personal opposition to "homosexual relationships" doesn't mean opposition to letting "people who are openly gay or lesbian" serve--but it's hard to see CNN's results not expressing a willingness, on the part of some, to put aside personal moral feelings in their support of a Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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