When the opposition polls veterans, they tend to rush for the nearest nursing home, since they know that they have no prayer of making a case against openly gay troops when they ask the actual men and women who are fighting for our country right now. It shows an alarming lack of disrespect for their sacrifices when Elaine Donnelly and her viper-tongued brethren do this, but she’s not a moral person, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

A new poll, of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, tells a more accurate, a more current story:

As the Pentagon prepares to survey soldiers about President Obama’ decision to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a new poll of military personnel who served in the Afghanistan or Iraq wars has finds that sexual orientation is “not a burning issue that overwhelms veterans’ lives.”

The new poll, commissioned by The Vet Voice Foundation and conducted jointly by Republican and Democratic pollsters, finds that most veterans are “comfortable around gay and lesbian people, believe that being gay or lesbian has no bearing on a service member’ ability to perform their duties, and would find it acceptable if gay and lesbian people were allowed to serve openly in the military.” Fifty-eight percent of veterans said they served alongside gays or lesbians, and only 22 percent thought they had not:

– 60% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans believe that being gay or lesbian “has no bearing on a service member’ ability to perform their duties.” Only 29% disagree.

– 73% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans say it is “personally acceptable to them if gay and lesbian people were allowed to serve openly in the military.” Only a quarter (25%) would find it unacceptable.

– 73% Iraq and Afghanistan veterans say “they are personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians.” Only a quarter (23%) is uncomfortable, and hardly anyone is very uncomfortable (only 7%).

Much as it might chap Elaine Donnelly’s behind, those numbers aren’t going back their way either. There’s simply too much education out there nowadays, and the great majority of younger people in this nation know that the Religious Right’s anti-gay fearmongering has been simply much ado about nothing.

By the way, the poll sample included more than twice as many self-identified Republicans as it did Democrats.

(h/t John Aravosis)