The White House noted Tuesday that a new study from the Department of Defense signaled that a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gays openly serving in the military could move forward without major objections. But the very same report suggests that many U.S. combat troops are not as enthusiastic about the repeal as other members of the military.
The AP reports:
President Barack Obama, citing the troop poll, urged the Senate to repeal the ban before adjourning in the next few weeks, but there is still no indication GOP objections can be overcome with just a few weeks left in the postelection lame-duck session. Still, the survey did put new pressure on Republican opponents, led by Sen. John McCain, who say efforts to repeal the law are politically motivated and dangerous at a time of two wars. …
The Pentagon survey found that some two-thirds of troops don’t care if the ban is lifted. Of the 30 percent who objected, most of them were in combat units.
Opposition was strongest among combat troops, with at least 40 percent saying repeal would be a bad idea. That number climbed to 58 percent among Marines serving in combat roles.
A summary of the report said 69 percent of respondents believed they had already served alongside a gay person. Of those who believed that, 92 percent said their units were able to work together and 8 percent said the units functioned poorly as a result.