More details are leaking about the Pentagon's 'study' on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' with the first part culled from surveys sent to 400,000 active-duty and reserve troops, and 150,000 military spouses, focus group participants, and an anonymous online drop box.
The second part, according to the WaPo, "presents a plan for ending enforcement of the ban. It is not meant to serve as the military's official instruction manual on the issue but could be used if military leaders agreed, one of the sources said."
More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report's authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.
One source, who has read the report in full, summarized its findings in a series of conversations this week. The source declined to state his position on whether to lift the ban, insisting it did not matter. He said he felt compelled to share the information out of concern that groups opposed to ending the ban would mischaracterize the findings. The long, detailed and nuanced report will almost certainly be used by opponents and supporters of repeal legislation to bolster their positions in what is likely to be a heated and partisan congressional debate.
Among several recommendations, the report urges an end to the military ban on sodomy between consenting adults regardless of what Congress or the federal courts might do about "don't ask, don't tell," the source said.
The report also concludes that gay troops should not be put into a special class for equal-opportunity or discrimination purposes, the individual said. The recommendation is based on feedback the study group obtained from gay troops and same-sex partners who said they do not want a special classification, according to the source. Gay troops were encouraged to participate in the survey and to submit comments to the anonymous online drop box.
The report recommends few, if any, changes to policy covering military housing and benefits, because the military must abide by the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which does not recognize same-sex marriage. Objections by troops who do not want to room or shower with openly gay troops should be handled case-by-case by commanders and should be scrutinized, the source said.
A one-year review of the policy changes is recommended as well.