by John Grooms
This week could mark the beginning of the end for Dont Ask Dont Tell (DADT) in the U.S. military. The Pentagon will release a report this afternoon that, according to early reports, will show that the vast majority of troops (70 percent of soldiers under 30) either are in favor of repealing DADT or dont really care one way or the other. The release of the poll data by the Pentagon is the first step in this weeks DADT process. Later this week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen will urge the Senate to join the House of Representatives and vote for repeal. The Pentagons report will also report to Congress on ways to go forward with implementing a repeal.
If thats not enough incentive to goose the Senate into the 21st century, maybe a new survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, will convince the codgers to get moving. Pews survey confirms what poll after poll has shown in the past few years, namely that a majority of Americans (this time, by a 58 percent-27 percent margin) favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. The survey also shows that nearly every group except the far right of the GOP favors repeal. Read the details of the survey here. And heres hoping enough Republican senators will listen to the Pentagon, rather than their Tea Party backers, and the rest of the partys rearguard that wants the country to go back to the golden age of the 1950s, when gays (and women and blacks) knew their place. Were not counting on GOP senators being able to read the writing on our cultures wall, but theres always hope.