ADDING TO THE DADT MOMENTUM…. When President Clinton tried to change existing policy and allow gay servicemen and women to serve openly in the military, he faced some immovable objects — most notably public opinion and the judgment of military leaders.
As of last week, the latter group had come around — everyone from Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen to Colin Powell now believe it’s time for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to come to an end.
And this week, we have additional evidence the public’s attitudes have changed, as well.
Homosexuals should be able to openly serve in the U.S. military, American voters say 57 – 36 percent. Voters also say 66 – 31 percent the current policy of not allowing openly gay men and women to serve is discrimination, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Support for ending the existing policy is surprisingly broad, and covers both genders, every ethnicity, every age group, and every income group. The only Americans who still want to block gay servicemen and women from wearing the uniform are Republicans and evangelical Christians — and even in these groups, 40% support repeal.
This represents something of a sea-change in how the public approaches the issue, and the shift should help make congressional support that much easier.
It’s taken a long while, but the right has lost this argument.