Another poll comes out in favor of gays in the military

May 25, 2010

As Congress mulls “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a new poll finds support for repealing it.

A CNN poll showed that 78 percent, or nearly 8 in 10 Americans believe people who are openly gay should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. MILITARY-GAYS/

The results of the survey of 1,023 adults, conducted May 21-23, were similar to earlier polls — 81 percent in Dec. 19-21, 2008 and 79 percent in May 4-6, 2007.

“Support is widespread, even among Republicans. Nearly 6 in 10 Republicans favor allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military,” Keating Holland, CNN polling director, said on its website. “There is a gender gap, with 85 percent of women and 71 percent of men favoring the change, but support remains high among both groups.”

A Gallup analysis this month found “broad, steady support” for openly gay members of the military. Gallup’s last poll on the issue, conducted May 3-6, showed 70 percent in favor.

Gay rights advocates who supported President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign have demanded that he follow through on his pledge to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. On Monday, the White House backed a proposal that would allow Congress to repeal the policy, but delay implementation until the Pentagon completes its review in December.

USA/MILITARY-GAYSThe Pentagon issued a statement that wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, more like a reluctant acceptance of political realities.

“Secretary Gates continues to believe that ideally the DOD review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law.  With Congress having indicated that is not possible, the Secretary can accept the language in the proposed amendment,” Geoff Morrell, Pentagon spokesman said.

As for congressional action, all eyes are on Thursday when supporters were expected to push for approval of the proposal in the Senate Armed Services Committee, and in the House, Representative Patrick Murphy was expected to try to attach it to the defense authorization bill.

Passage is not a done deal.  But independent Senator Joseph Lieberman believes the proposal will make it out of committee.  He told Reuters congressional correspondent Susan Cornwell and other reporters:  “We definitely can succeed in the Armed Services Committee on Thursday, but  it’s going to be very close.”

Do you believe the policy should be repealed?

Photo credit: Reuters/Molly Riley (gay rights demonstration in Washington), Reuters/Hyungwon Kang (sign at Defense Department)

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