Pentagon Study Finds Openly Serving Gays Not Detriment To Service
The 10-month study conducted by the Pentagon found that a clear majority of respondents didn’t care if gays serve openly. It still faces opposition from the GOP, including former Presidential candidate John McCain:
Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have mostly opposed repealing the law because they say efforts to do so are politically driven and dangerous at a time of two wars.
“This was a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for presidency of the United States,” McCain told CNN’s “State of the Union” last weekend.
“The military is at its highest point in recruitment and retention and professionalism and capability, so to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false,” McCain said.
Democrats and gay rights groups counter that the study finally proves what they’ve known anecdotally for years: Most troops would accept an openly gay person in their units.
“It’s what we expected. The atmosphere in the active-duty has changed,” said a gay Air Force officer and co-founder of the advocacy group OutServe. The officer uses the pseudonym “JD Smith” to protect his identity.
The survey is based on responses by some 115,000 troops and 44,200 military spouses to more than a half million questionnaires distributed last summer. The study group, led by Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Army Gen. Carter Ham, also visited various military bases and held town hall-style meetings with service members.