Poll: Most Want "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal

(CBS/iStockphoto)
By a 57 percent to 36 percent margin, Americans say openly gay service members should be allowed to serve in the United States military, a new Quinnipiac University poll finds.

Two in three say the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning openly gay service members amounts to discrimination.

Voters from military households were split on a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Democrats overwhelmingly backed repeal, while Republicans oppose it 53 percent to 40 percent. Independents backed repeal 56 percent to 37 percent.

The findings point to widespread support for repealing the policy but also mixed feelings on how such a change should be implemented.

For example, American voters are evenly split on whether gay and lesbian personnel should share quarters with their straight colleagues. And half say the Pentagon should not provide for domestic partners of gay personnel.

The survey also finds that 54 percent say gays and lesbians in the military should be restricted in exhibiting their sexual orientation on the job.

Still, there is clear consensus that the current policy – which Adm. Mike Mullen recently said he personally opposes – should be ended.

Eighty-two percent of American voters say the military should stop pursuing disciplinary action against gay and lesbian servicemembers who are outed against their will. Nearly two in three say ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will not have a negative impact on military effectiveness.

-More Tolerance for Gay Troops in Military

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