Survey finds three quarters of Americans support out gay soldiers
A poll has found that nearly 75 per cent of Americans support allowing gay soldiers to be open about their sexual orientation.
The research, conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, found that only 24 per cent of the 1,004 adults surveyed thought out gay people should not be allowed in the US military.
Currently, gays and lesbians can serve in the military if they keep their sexual orientation secret. This law is to undergo a one-year review and civilian and military officials have begun hearings on how change can be implemented.
In the latest survey, women and young people were found to have the highest levels of support.
Eighty-two per cent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents and 64 percent of Republicans favoured removing the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.
Public support has steadily grown in favour of repeal in recent years. Previous polls have shown that just over half of US citizens support removing the ban.
However, some military leaders are said to remain in opposition and critics argue that making the move in the middle of two wars is unfeasible.
Others have warned it will affect recruitment and morale.
President Obama recently promised he would work to repeal the law this year. This is unlikely to happen in 2010, as the review is scheduled to last 12 months.
Gay rights campaigners are hopeful that some changes can be made in the meantime, such as suspending discharges or raising the bar of evidence required in third-party outings.