Joyner refuses to admit that DADT repeal is no longer a "hot button issue" for the vast majority of the country. As evidence that gays serving openly is controversial he writes that "referenda to ban gay marriage, for example, seem almost always to pass easily." His attempt to square the circle:
At least three possible explanations obtain.
First, people are more passionate about gay marriage than gays in the military.
Second, people are lying to pollsters about their views on gays in the military, in a variation of the so-called Bradley Effect, or what pollsters term the “social desirability bias.”
Third, the issue is much more salient for the 22 percent who oppose gays in the military than the 78 percent who favor.
My guess is a combination of the three, with the third being the most powerful explainer.
The referendums on full marriage equality have been getting narrower and narrower - and are in line with most polls. But compare the polling on marriage equality with the polling on gays in the military. Most Americans rightly see this is unfair discrimination that we can ill afford in wartime.