Amid signs that Congress may be hearing a definitive deal that will scrap the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy regarding gays in the military, a new A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll finds widespread support for allowing gays to serve — even among Republicans:
Most Americans say people who are openly gay should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 78 percent of the public supports allowing openly gay people to serve in the military, with one in five opposed.
“Support is widespread, even among Republicans. Nearly six in ten Republicans favor allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “There is a gender gap, with 85 percent of women and 71 percent of men favoring the change, but support remains high among both groups.”
The poll’s release comes just hours after Congressional Democrats reached an agreement Monday with the White House and possibly the Pentagon on a key legislative step toward repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that bars openly gay soldiers from the military.
Polling data such as this increase the likelihood that Congress will act. It could still become a wedge issue for some candidates, but this and other polls suggest there’s now widespread consensus on what Congress and the military need to do.