Current Affairs

Pentagon conducts survey of military spouses on potential repeal of ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’

Christopher Brocklebank August 24, 2010
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The Pentagon has distributed a 44-question survey to 150,000 military spouses in the USA to gauge their views on potential situations that may arise should the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy be repealed.

It is hoped that the policy, which bars openly LGBT people from serving in the American military, will be repealed by Congress later this year.

Taking this into account, questions in the survey include asking if a military spouse would encourage their husband or wife to leave the forces should the ban be repealed, whether it would effect their willingness to recommend a military career to family or friends and if the attendance of gay couples at social events would affect their decision to attend such gatherings.

In an email to the Washington Post, Ty Walrod, co-director of OutServe, an LGBT group for those serving in the military, said: “We overwhelmingly believe that spouses are on our side for the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’.

“We saw in a previous survey the low participation rate, because military members simply are ready for the repeal of the policy. A new generation of members are leading the US military forces and that generation understands that gay and lesbian military members are no different.”

The survey results will be critical tools for the ultimate recommendations of a Pentagon working group who are studying the potential impact of repealing the policy.

The group will present their findings to President Obama by 1 Dec. However, the confidentiality clause means the results will make it difficult for outsiders to gauge how military families feel about a potential repeal.

A survey conducted by Washington Post-ABC News back in February found that three-quarters of Americans said they supported openly gay people serving in the military.

More: Americas, Barack Obama, The Pentagon, US Congress, US Military

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