An internal Pentagon study has found that most U.S. troops and their families don't care whether gays are allowed to serve openly and think the policy of "don't ask, don't tell" could be done away with, according to officials familiar with its findings.Again, the specifics of the study's findings have not yet been released, and assertions made by anonymous sources should always be taken with a grain of salt, but it appears that the Pentagon will recommend moving forward with repeal. (And no, I do not believe that was inevitable, based on the Pentagon's foot-dragging on this issue.)
The survey results were expected to be used by gay rights advocates to bolster their argument that the 1993 law on gays could be repealed immediately with little harm done to the military. But the survey also was expected to reveal challenges the services could face in overturning the long-held policy, including overcoming fierce opposition in some parts of the military even if they represent a minority.
Details on the survey results were still scarce Thursday, with the Pentagon declining to discuss the findings until after Dec. 1 when it rolls out its own plan for repeal.
What remains to be seen - and may be for a long time to come - is whether President Obama was aware of these findings when he chose to appeal Judge Philips' ruling striking down DADT, or even back when the Senate failed to pass repeal. After all, if sources are discussing preliminary findings of the study now, who's to say they haven't known about them for some time?
The whole idea of this "study" was insulting to begin with. Soldiers and their families should have no say in the decision-making process: that is the responsibility of our Commander-in-Chief and his closest advisors. But it is nice to know that when DADT is finally repealed, our gay servicemembers may have an easier time knowing a majority of their peers will accept them.