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POLL: 75% of Americans Approve of Gays Serving in Military

With Congressional hearings on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" set to begin this coming Wednesday, a new poll reveals Americans approve in greater numbers than ever before of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. The number is up from 62% in early 2001 and 44% in 1993, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll:

Gaysoldiers"Shortly after he took office in 1993, Clinton faced strong resistance to his campaign pledge to lift the military's ban on allowing gay people to enlist. At that time, 67 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of conservatives opposed the idea. A majority of independents, 56 percent, and 45 percent of Democrats also opposed changing the policy. Today, Americans have become more supportive of allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the armed forces. Support from Republicans has doubled over the past 15 years, from 32 to 64 percent. More than eight in 10 Democrats and more than three-quarters of independents now support the idea, as did nearly two-thirds of self-described conservatives."

Openness about sexuality makes a big difference for veterans:

"While 71 percent of veterans said gay people who do not declare themselves as such should be allowed to serve, that number drops sharply, to 50 percent, for those who are open about their sexuality. Non-veterans, by contrast, are as likely to support those who 'tell' as those who do not."

And the religious vote:

"Fifty-seven percent of white evangelical Protestants now support allowing openly gay service members in the military, compared with 82 percent of white Catholics and 80 percent of those with no declared religious affiliation. Three-quarters of both married and single people support the idea, both significantly higher than in 1993."

Recently
Study Says Gays Unlikely to Undermine Military's Ability to Fight, Win [tr]
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Sexist As Well As Homophobic [tr]
'60 Minutes' Sergeant Darren Manzella Discharged Under 'DADT' [tr]

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Comments

  1. I wonder if the day will come when we look back on how, as a society, gay people were treated over the decades and marvel at the thought process behind treating homosexuals as second class citizens.

    Just as blacks were treated in the 50s, as well as the decades before, and how the jews were killed during the holocaust, surely there will come a day when we look back and ask ourselves, as a society, WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING?

    Posted by: Dex | Jul 21, 2008 8:32:28 AM


  2. I always thought the fact that my gayness kept me out of Vietnam was an advantage.

    We don't have a draft anymore, people.

    DON'T JOIN !!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 21, 2008 8:57:11 AM


  3. As I said before...while I hold ALL Gay/Lesbian serice members in High regard..for dealing with such a BS policy while serving thier country. I say let the breeders go and DIE...why serve a country that treats you as 2nd class citizens at home? Yea..they NEED you now....but would toss you aside in a heartbeat..when NOT needed...the Military Leaders and the American Gov't can go Fuck themselves!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jul 21, 2008 9:29:01 AM


  4. Wow. Attitudes are changing--thanks to gay military folks who took the risk of being openly gay. Many of them were discharged, but their sacrifice has resulted in an enlightenment for many Americans on this issue.

    Yeah, I guess there is hope.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 21, 2008 10:16:26 AM


  5. It is interesting that the folks who most support DADT aren't even in the military. Sorta like the folks that most oppose abortion would never need one (if guys got pregnant, abortion would be sacrament).

    Posted by: MikeinSanJose | Jul 21, 2008 10:19:38 AM


  6. It saddens me to see some blind or indifferent to the fact that not all young gay men and women are economically created equal. Raise your hand if you're a trust fund baby, had a free ride to an ivy league school, have a cushy white collar job, park your Mercedes convertible in the three-car garage of your Malibu home, etc., etc.

    Just as for many nongay kids, the military can be their most attractive route to skills training that can help them get a civilian job and/or pay for part of their college. For others with more options, a military career is a family tradition that they feel they must honor.

    I've urged poor relatives to avoid military enlistment if they possibly can simply because I don't want them to risk dying in Bush's Folly, but it's a gamble that some feel they must take—and that includes many gays in our society.

    I was a conscientious objector who barely missed going to prison for refusing to go to Vietnam. Iraq is an even bigger moral crime. I believe the military is run by mental midgets and oppose any glorification of it in and of itself such as the recent PBS 10-hour recruiting ad "Carrier." BUT, fix the economic and educational injustices in our society and THEN maybe you can lecture other individuals about what they should and should not do.

    Michael Bedwell
    www.leonardmatlovich.com

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jul 21, 2008 10:52:01 AM


  7. ...as long as they don't wear a pornstache!

    Good news, everyone!

    Posted by: anon | Jul 21, 2008 12:54:45 PM


  8. Michael Bedwell, you hit the nail right on the head for me. I joined the Air Force in the early 80's out of high school because I wanted to get away from home, there were no jobs at the time, and I thought the military would make a man out of me (I know, I know). My years in the USAF was some of the greatest years of my young life and I made some terrific and understanding friends there.

    As far as DADT is concerned, the military elite wouldn't mind gays serving NOW that recruitment has dropped and they're lowering standard testing scores to allow convicted felons to fight and die in George Bush's ego trip.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jul 21, 2008 10:27:48 PM


  9. Michael Bedwell, you hit the nail right on the head for me. I joined the Air Force in the early 80's out of high school because I wanted to get away from home, there were no jobs at the time, and I thought the military would make a man out of me (I know, I know). My years in the USAF was some of the greatest years of my young life and I made some terrific and understanding friends there.

    As far as DADT is concerned, the military elite wouldn't mind gays serving NOW that recruitment has dropped and they're lowering standard testing scores to allow convicted felons to fight and die in George Bush's ego trip.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jul 21, 2008 10:28:05 PM


  10. Bill Clinton is all too often blamed for DADT as if it was his idea. It was Congress' doing, and a step forward. Clinton was way ahead of his time. Too bad about the blow job :D

    Posted by: Troy | Jul 27, 2008 6:24:59 PM


  11. Troy, Your attempts at historical revision appear to be the product of the crack pipe. Put it down and your ability to think rationally and critically may return.

    Posted by: rudy | Jul 27, 2008 7:40:13 PM


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