Three-fourths of Americans agree the
military should repeal “don't ask, don't tell,” the policy that
forbids gay troops from serving openly.
According to a Washington
Post/ABC News poll released Thursday, a record 75% of
respondents support open gay service. A near universal majority
(83%) believe closeted gay troops should be allowed to serve in the
Similar results come from an unlikely
source: Fox News.
In a survey of 900 registered voters
conducted by the conservative network, Fox News found a two-to-one
margin in favor of open gay service. Sixty-one percent of
respondents agree that the military should abandon “don't ask,
don't tell,” while thirty percent disagree.
Both polls found that younger
respondents were more likely to favor repeal.
The policy has come under heavy
scrutiny since President Obama called for an end to the law during
his first State of the Union address. Last week, the Pentagon's top
brass – Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates – told a key Senate panel
considering the issue that the military should end the policy.
A third poll conducted by the
University Polling Institute released Wednesday also found a
majority of respondents favor repeal, but by a smaller margin (57%).
“By a solid margin, American voters
say go ahead and allow gays to openly serve in the military,” Peter
A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinipiac University Polling
Institute, said in a statement.
The Quinnipiac University poll found
near universal support (82%) for the military ending disciplinary
action against gay men and lesbians outed against their will.
Secretary Gates has already ordered a
45-day study on how to do just that. Gates said the Pentagon would
consider implementing a “fairer” version of the law.
The survey also found a majority of
respondents (65%) do not believe repeal will hurt the military's
ability to fight effectively on the battlefield. However, by a
margin of 54%-38%, voters say gay troops should face restrictions on
exhibiting their sexual orientation.