By The Baltimore Sun Editorial Staff
Dec 2, 2010
As opponents of gays serving openly in the military parse through the Defense Department's survey results of more than 115,000 servicemen and women and their families to find some shred of justification for officially sanctioned bigotry, it is worth taking note of this: The percentage of service members who believe repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy would do no harm to their units is actually higher than the percentage of the general public who favor repealing the ban. That is to say, on this issue, Congress is behind the public in accepting the full integration of the military, and the public, amazingly, is behind the military itself.
The latest poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press pegged public support for repealing don't ask, don't tell at 58 percent, and some recent surveys have found even higher levels of support than that. Meanwhile, the military reports that some 70 percent of service members said ending the ban on open service by gays would have a positive, neutral or mixed effect on unit cohesion. And among service members who believe they already have served alongside someone who is gay, a whopping 92 percent said their unit's ability to work together was very good, good or neutral.
So what excuse will supporters of keeping the ban offer now?