Yep, Americans Still Support Gays Serving Openly in the Military

Americans have, for some time, supported the ability for gays to serve openly in the military, without the constraints of Don't Ask, Don't Tell-imposed secrecy. A new Pew survey confirms that this is still the case:

As the Pentagon prepares to release its highly anticipated survey of military personnel about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, most Americans (58%) say they favor allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the armed forces. Fewer than half that number (27%) oppose allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.

These opinions have changed little in recent years. Since 2005 - including three surveys this year - roughly 60% have consistently favored permitting homosexuals to serve openly in the military. There is greater support for permitting gays to serve openly today than there was in 1994, after President Clinton put in place the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. In July of that year, 52% said they favored allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military while 45% said they opposed allowing this.

On Wednesday, the Pentagon's internal Don't Ask, Don't Tell review task force will release the findings of its study, delivering them to President Obama's desk. As The Washington Post has already reported, the review will find that ending DADT carries minimal risk to servicemembers and U.S. military campaigns.

The following day, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen will appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee, once again making their case that the policy should be ended. The day after that, on Friday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff themselves will appear before the same committee.

It would be difficult for Congress to end DADT before next year. It's wrapped up in the Defense authorization bill, and Republican senators have said they want to be able to debate amendments unrelated to DADT. It doesn't look like there will be enough time to do that before the end of the year.

So, even with the momentum of the Pentagon's review, it looks like DADT may get kicked down the road, subject to the vagaries of the Congress's incoming members.

Presented by

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

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Politics

Just In