Pew Poll: Majority favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military
March 27, 2009
The Pew Research Center released new poll numbers this week from a survey conducted March 9-12 among 1,308 adults that found 59% of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, while 32% are opposed. Public support for overturning Don't Ask Don't Tell has held consistent over the years: a Pew poll conducted in March 2006 reported 60% of Americans in favor of repealing DADT, 32% opposed:
Republicans are divided over this proposal: a majority of conservative Republicans (57%) oppose allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military compared with 37% who favor letting them serve. By about two-to-one (62% to 30%), moderate and liberal Republicans favor permitting gays and lesbians to serve in the armed forces. Eight-in-ten liberal Democrats (79%) support allowing gays to serve in the military while just 18% oppose the proposal. A smaller majority of conservative and moderate Democrats (60%) favor permitting gays to serve openly while 29% are opposed. More women than men favor letting gays and lesbians serve in the military (66% vs. 52%). There also are large differences among religious groups in views on this issue. By about five-to-one (77% to 15%), the religiously unaffiliated favor allowing gays to serve; smaller majorities of white Catholics (65%) and white mainline Protestants (62%) express this view. By comparison, 38% of white evangelical Protestants support allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces while 55% are opposed.
A July 2008 Washington Post - ABC New poll found even higher levels of support for repealing DADT with 75% of Americans being in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.