This is really not surprising, but it takes yet another chink out of the armor of the Religious Right hatemongers fighting against DADT. They always claim they’re fighting “for the troops,” but guess who doesn’t seem to mind the idea of gay troops serving alongside them? Yeah, the troops themselves:
Back when it looked like Congress would vote on repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” (before the Republicans blocked the attempt with a filibuster), the Pentagon ordered a yearlong global study to see how troops would react to serving alongside openly gay service members. When the study was first announced, gay-rights groups attacked the questions’ assumption that troops wouldn’t want to serve alongside soldiers who no longer had to stay in the closet. The same survey was cited as a reason to halt Judge Virginia Phillips’s injunction on enforcing the unconstitutional policy. The results were supposed to be revealed December 1, along with the Pentagon’s plan for the logistics of a repeal. But officials leaked the findings to NBC News’ Richard Engel, who shared the results on The Rachel Maddow Show last night. And based on the early word, equal-rights advocates needn’t have worried.
Engel says respondents’ answers were classified into four categories: (1) it’s really not that big a deal, (2) it’s not a big deal, but if I’m uncomfortable with something, I’ll address the source directly, (3) I’m uncomfortable, I’m going to raise the issue with my chain of command, (4) hi, I’m a member of Westboro Baptist Church. The No. 1 answer to questions like “What if your commanding officer is gay? Would you follow orders? Would you take a shower? … What if a gay couple lived next to you on the base?” was “I don’t care,” says Engel.” The second most popular answer was, it’s not that big a deal, but if something bothered me, I’d deal with the person directly. In tandem, the responses show “an accepting outlook.”
Sorry, Religious Right. Yet another reason y’all should probably look for new jobs before too long.
Related: This is a really cool story about a World War II vet’s experience of serving with gay troops. Hint: “They were just people. They served in the war.”
Such a no-brainer.