Few issues poll so consistently as repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Major, national, random-sampling polls of this issue over the last five years have consistently shown substantial majority support for repealing the current policy, regardless of how the question is worded. Even groups that are traditionally less supportive of gay rights oppose the current, discriminatory policy, including conservatives, Republicans, and weekly church-goers and other religious Americans. Young people are even more tolerant of homosexuality and supportive of gay rights, with many polls showing that over 90% of younger Americans favor eliminating "don't ask, don't tell." High schools, colleges, and newspapers across the country, including conservative and small-town newspapers, have strongly opposed the gay ban, expressing their views by seeking to limit access by the military to campus and through consistent editorials skewering military discrimination.
Below are a sampling of polls expressed as pie charts. For access to all the major polls on this issue, courtesy of Servicemembers United's "Digital Archives Project," click here.
Question: Do you think people who are openly gay or homosexual should or should not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military?
78% of voters believe gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military [Source]
Question: Do you agree that allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military would be divisive for the troops and hurt their ability to fight effectively?
65% of voters think ending DADT will not be divisive or impact combat readiness [Source]
February 10, 2010
Question: Do you think homosexuals who publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the military or not?
64% of Republicans think gays who publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve [Source]
Question: Do you favor or oppose allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military?
60% of weekly church attendees in favor of gays serving openly in the military [Source]
Question: If your congressman voted to end the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, would you be more likely to vote for him or her, less likely to vote for him or her or would it make no difference to you?
Regardless of one's feelings about repeal, people are no more likely to punish their representative for supporting repeal than opposing it (27 to 24, which is a statistical tie) [Source: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research]