A gay group lobbying for repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” is demanding the government refund the cost of a survey it claims is biased against gay troops.

The group Servicemembers United, which lobbies for repeal of the law that forbids gay troops from serving openly, said the survey was “laced with bias, inaccuracies and derogatory assumptions and insinuations about gay and lesbian Americans” in launching its online campaign demanding the research firm Westat and the Pentagon repay the American taxpayer the survey's $4.4 million cost.

The group has launched a website at SurveyRefund.org that asks people to sign a petition demanding a refund of the survey.

“This expensive survey stokes the fires of homophobia by its very design and will only make the Pentagon responsibility to subdue homophobia as part of this inevitable policy change even harder,” Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, said on the group's website.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell rejected the claims of bias in a call with reporters two weeks ago.

“Absolutely, unequivocally, I reject [the accusations of bias] as nonsense,” Morrell said.

The Department of Defense is recruiting 400,000 service members to answer 103 questions related to the policy, including how heterosexual members would react in various social situations if gay troops were visible.

Gay groups have panned the survey as biased against gay troops. They point to questions that ask service members how they would feel about sharing bathing facilities and living quarters with gay troops, the survey's use of the outmoded word “homosexual” to describe gay men and lesbians and its overwhelming focus on the potential drawbacks of repeal.

“We think it would be irresponsible to conduct a survey that didn't address these kinds of [social] questions,” Morrell said.

The survey is part of the military's comprehensive review of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the law approved by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Under a last-minute deal brokered by gay groups and Democratic leaders, the review will continue even as Congress debates repeal of the law.