Tags: military | gays | poll | donnelly | dont | ask | dont

Donnelly: Military Families Back 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Wednesday, 25 Aug 2010 10:47 AM

A new survey shows that voters oppose overturning the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy on gays in the military.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a public policy organization that specializes in military personnel issues and coordinated the poll, spoke with Newsmax.TV about its findings.

The survey showed 48 percent of likely voters support the current law, implemented in 1993, while 45 percent want to overturn it to let gays and lesbians serve openly in the military.

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Among those who are in the military or in a military family, 57 percent favor the current law.

By a 55-40 percent margin, respondents disagreed with the statement that “the military should modify its training programs to promote acceptance of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in all military colleges, training programs and schools run by the Department of Defense.”

Those numbers should serve as a warning to the Pentagon, Donnelly says.

“If they think that just by putting in a training program to try changing people’s feelings about sexuality, to undermine their natural desire for modesty and privacy in sexual matters, that this will be easy, I think they’re very much mistaken,” she said.

“This won’t be easy. In fact, it won’t happen at all. We’re very confident members of Congress won’t vote for this repeal.”

The House of Representatives voted to overturn the law, and if the Senate follows suit, “that would be harmful for the military and could break the all-volunteer force,” Donnelly said.

That’s because repeal could push people away from the military.

There will be consequences for members of Congress who support repeal. “Voters see this issue as making a difference, indicating they would be less likely to support a member of Congress who votes to overturn the 1993 law,” Donnelly said.

President Obama, who supports repeal, is using the military as a social experiment and as means to pay reward gay supporters, she says.

In the poll, 57 percent of respondents said they see the agenda for gays in the military as driven by politics, not principles.

“The president keeps pushing this cause like it’s the most important thing in the world,” Donnelly said. “Voters don’t see it that way.”

In the Senate, repeal is part of an appropriations bill that also includes a proposal to repeal the ban on abortion at military bases.

“This amendment is a radical proposal,” Donnelly said. “It would turn every military base in the U.S. and overseas into an abortion facility.”

The poll showed that by a margin of 49-41 percent voters oppose that.

“It also indicates that lawmakers who vote for abortion at taxpayer-funded facilities do it at their own peril,” Donnelly said.

Only 21 percent of respondents would be more likely to vote for members of Congress who did so, while 43 percent would be less likely to vote for them.

And it’s not just Republicans. “There are a number of Democrats, who identify with the pro-life cause,” Donnelly said.

Legislators who see the numbers will think twice before voting for a defense bill that authorizes

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