A new poll finds a large majority of Americans back repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
According to a CBS News poll released Friday, sixty-nine percent of those surveyed believe gay men and lesbians should be able to serve openly in the military. That’s a jump of seven points since October.
Twenty-three percent of Americans oppose open gay service. Fifteen percent strongly oppose repeal of the law. Another eight percent are opposed to change, but not strongly. The survey’s results arrive as the Senate concludes two days’ worth of hearings on a Pentagon report that endorses repeal of the law. Marine and Army leaders testified against repeal on Friday, while Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the military’s top uniformed officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, endorsed ending the policy on Thursday. Repeal depends mostly on whether Democrats can sway a sufficient number of Republicans to join the cause. Republicans in September united to block passage of the measure. However, several GOP senators have said they could vote for repeal, the latest being Scott Brown of Massachusetts on Friday. A Pentagon study revealed that most service members don’t care if the DADT policy is repealed or not. Partial findings of the report indicated that a majority of active duty military personnel thought repealing DADT would have no effect. Most polls have indicated most Americans are for repealing the policy.
A study begun by the Pentagon several months ago, at the behest of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, has revealed that most service personnel don’t think about the controversial “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, according to ABC. The finding from the study was leaked some time ago by the Washington Post, much to the consternation of Gates, though it seems the government has been having a problem with leaked documents lately. The leaked portion of the study included the finding that 70 percent of respondents did not believe that DADT repeal would actually have any effect on anything in the military. The survey was sent to 400,000 service members and 150,000 spouses of military personnel. Of those, less than 30 percent responded.
Polls and surveys from the last few years have been indicating that more Americans are for the repeal of the DADT policy. A CNN poll indicated that more than 70 percent of Americans embrace repealing DADT, and a recently released Pew Research poll said 58 percent of Americans were for repealing DADT policy according to CNN. Surveys, polls and statistics only ultimately indicate something about the subjects of the surveys and polls that actually respond, and the country’s true opinion may be different. However, it does appear that more people are for getting rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
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