A majority of troops and their families
would be OK if the Pentagon did away with “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,”
the policy that bans gay and bisexual service members from serving
According to details leaked to NBC
News, the Defense Department's own internal survey will show that
most troops are not concerned about serving and living alongside
openly gay troops.
The survey's results are expected to be
included in a Pentagon report on ending the policy. The full report
is due to President Obama on December 1.
Some service members objected to a
change in the policy, insisting they would quit the military if gay
troops were allowed to serve openly.
The survey, which rolled out in July,
angered leading groups lobbying for repeal. Pointing to the survey's
use of the outmoded and derogatory word “homosexual” to describe
gay men and lesbians, and its overwhelming focus on the potential
drawbacks of repeal, they called the survey biased against gay
Pentagon officials were forced to set
the policy aside for 8 days this month after a federal judge in
an injunction against its enforcement. The Obama administration
appealed the ruling and the policy was allowed to return. In
reinstating “Don't Ask,” Defense
Secretary Robert Gates stiffened its requirements, allowing only
secretaries of the armed forces the authority to separate a service
member under the law.
President Barack Obama has said he
agrees that the law should be repealed but is pursuing an appeal
because he's looking for a “durable” solution from Congress. In
an interview with the gay media, the president rejected claims that
he was trying to have it both ways.
Repeal advocates remain hopeful that
the Senate will act against the law during the lame-duck session
after the November midterm elections. Arizona
Senator John McCain has already promised to work against a second