Pentagon Study: Gays in the Military? Fabulous!
A highly anticipated Pentagon report, made available to the media today but not released publicly yet, confirms what we all expected: The good people in our military are largely cool with repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The study found that 70 percent of troops believed that repealing the law would have mixed, positive or no effect, while 30 percent predicted negative consequences. Opposition was strongest among combat troops, with 40 percent saying it was a bad idea. That number climbs to 46 percent among Marines.
The study found that 92 percent of troops who worked with a gay service member believed their experience to be good, very good or to have had no impact.
In releasing the report, Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense, said "The findings suggest that for large segments of the military, repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'... would not be the traumatic change that many had feared and predicted."
It's not clear how those who want "don't ask, don't tell" to remain in place will react. John McCain, one guy who has scrambled for any excuse to leave the policy untouched, has already been nitpicking about the methodology (only 28 percent of service members responded to the questionnaire). But it's unclear if there's any hard evidence that getting rid of "don't ask, don't tell" will have negative repercussions.
Obama is making an official statement later today, but Robert Gibbs, his press secretary, has already said the administration believes the policy can be repealed in a lame-duck session.