It was 15 years ago on Friday that Bill Clinton unveiled his “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. That should give some sufficient background…
A new poll today conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News has some shockingly good news:
Seventy-five percent of Americans in a new Washington Post–ABC News poll said gay people who are open about their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, up from 62 percent in early 2001 and 44 percent in 1993.Majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents alike now believe it is acceptable for openly gay people to serve in the U.S. armed forces.
This is just another testament to how quickly attitudes are chaning in this country on gay issues. Marriage has become legal for gay couples in several states, and now a majority of Americans, regardless of political persuasion, feel that openly gay individuals should be allowed to serve.
There are certainly those that oppose women serving, and especially those that oppose gays serving. I think that they often have valid points given the environment of the military, and those points should be weighed when formulating effective policy. However, the principle that so many Americans support a gay individual’s desire to be a member of the military is a productive and meaningful step in the path to equal gay rights in America.