Public Strongly Backs Ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

The House voted last Thursday in favor of repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and final repeal of this noxious policy is surely very close. Gay men and women will at last be able to serve openly in the U.S. military, a move that has strong backing from the American public.

Consider this result from a recent (May 3-6) Gallup poll on the issue. An overwhelming 70-25 majority of respondents said they were in favor of “allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military.”

chart of public opinion on DADT

Lest that crushing majority be thought a fluke, consider this result from an even more recent (May 21-23) CNN poll. The public, by an even larger 78-20 margin, said in that poll that “people who are openly gay or homosexual” should be allowed to serve in the military.

chart of public opinion on DADT

There can be no doubt that in this particular instance lawmakers are thoroughly in tune with progressive public opinion. One can only hope that policymakers continue their good behavior.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.

For more information on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” see: