WASHINGTON— Findings from an internal Pentagon study first reported by NBC News on Thursday show that a majority of U.S. military service members and their families would not object to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Officials familiar with the Defense Department survey spoke to the press on the condition of anonymity because the Pentagon has not officially released the results and refuses to discuss them until after Dec. 1, when it will present its plan for the anti-gay ban’s repeal should Congress or the federal courts strike down DADT.
The study is part of a yearlong Pentagon project ordered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to gauge how (if at all) the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would affect military effectiveness and unit cohesion. The Pentagon distributed approximately 400,000 surveys to troops and 150,000 to soldiers’ families asking questions on the policy and on their feelings toward serving with and living alongside openly gay troops. While some respondents objected strongly to DADT’s repeal, most said they would have no problem with it.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is expected to rule Friday on whether the military can continue enforcing the ban while it considers the Department of Justice’s challenge against it.