Most Continue to Favor Gays Serving Openly in Military

Nov 29, 2010

As the Pentagon prepares to release its highly anticipated survey of military personnel about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, most Americans (58%) say they favor allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the armed forces. Fewer than half that number (27%) oppose allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.

These opinions have changed little in recent years. Since 2005 – including three surveys this year – roughly 60% have consistently favored permitting homosexuals to serve openly in the military. There is greater support for permitting gays to serve openly today than there was in 1994, after President Clinton put in place the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. In July of that year, 52% said they favored allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military while 45% said they opposed allowing this.

The national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted Nov. 4-7 among 1,255 adults, finds continuing partisan and religious differences in opinions about whether to permit gays and lesbians to serve openly in the nation’s armed forces.

Read the full report, Most Continue to Favor Gays Serving Openly in Military on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site

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