The Defense Department has said it plans to release its report Tuesday on the impact of repealing the military's "don't-ask-don't-tell policy" regarding gays in the military in hoping of pushing along a Senate vote on the issue during its lame-duck session. A new Pew Research Center survey
says a clear majority of Americans continue to support allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly.
Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed in a poll conducted Nov. 4-7 say they favor allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military while 27 percent are opposed, with 16 percent undecided. This is consistent with findings dating back to 1995, in which roughly 6 out of 10 Americans take this position.
Along partisan lines, Republicans are opposed to any change by 44 percent to 40 percent with 17 percent undecided, with those describing themselves as "conservative" opposing repeal by 52 percent to 28 percent. Republicans who say they agree with tea party movement positions oppose any lifting of the ban by 48 percent to 38 percent with 15 percent undecided.
Democrats support allowing homosexuals to serve openly by 70 percent to 18 percent, with 13 percent undecided, as do independents by a margin of 62 percent to 23 percent with 14 percent undecided.
Women favor repeal of DADT more than men, by a 63 percent to 21 percent margin compared to 52 percent to 32 percent. The remainder in each case are undecided.
The issue is expected to come before the Senate as part of a larger defense funding bill, and some senators have said they want to see the Pentagon report before a vote is held. The Washington Post
says that the report is expected to conclude that the ban can be lifted with only minimal risk to morale or national security.
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