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Conservatives Shift in Favor of Gays Serving Openly in Military

A new Gallup poll released last week finds a significant increase in support among conservatives and weekly churchgoers for allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the U.S. military. Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, up 11 to 12 percentage points from 2004.



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new Gallup poll released last week finds a significant increase in support among conservatives and weekly churchgoers for allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the U.S. military. Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, up 11 to 12 percentage points from 2004.

"These new numbers reinforce the reality that repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is not controversial with the American public," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. "We hope the Obama Administration is aware that such clear bipartisan support out in the country exists for repeal. Now that a majority of conservatives are solidly on board, it's time for the President, his senior military leadership, and lawmakers to seize the moment to move legislation through Congress this year. The American people are ready and waiting.

The poll registered the highest support for open service among liberals (86 percent), Democrats (82 percent), and Americans 18 to 29 (78 percent). The poll was conducted May 7-10, 2009 with 1,015 national adults. There is a 95 percent confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

A 2008 Washington Post/ABC News poll found 64 percent of Republicans agree gays should be able to serve openly.

Virtually no other public policy issue registers such high levels of public support.

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