Testifying before the United States Senate, Defense Sec. Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen promised lawmakers they would investigate and review the best strategy to implement a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal. To do this, the men said, they would put together a team of qualified individuals who would look into the feasibility of such a move. Too bad the Military Times just beat them to it.
The newspaper, which is independent from the U.S. armed forces, polled some 3,000 active duty troops and found a steep decline in opposition to a repeal. In 2004, the Times found 65 percent of troops resisted a repeal; today, that figure stands at 51 percent. At the time time, active duty troops who explicitly favor a repeal rose, from 24 percent to 30 percent. (“The Military Times exclusive is based on survey results and in-depth interviews with military leaders, both gay and straight. These career-oriented officers and enlisted troops are among those who would largely be responsible for implementing changes to the Clinton-era law and policy.”)
Moreover, the survey found 57 percent of respondents saying they believed gay men or women were serving with them in their unit.
Not asked on the poll, however, is whether troops agree with the lunacy of folks like retired Marine Corps officer Oliver North, who used his Fox News contributor status to pose the hypothetical: Letting gay soldiers serve openly will open the door to military chaplains having to perform gay marriages and accepting NAMBLA-sanctioned unions.