Majority of Americans Support Repealing DADT

Yesterday, CBS released a poll showing increased support for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell being repealed:

Sixty-nine percent of Americans believe gay men and women should be allowed to serve openly in the military, a new CBS News poll finds – an increase of seven points since October.

Just 23 percent oppose allowing gay men and women to serve openly.

The poll comes as the Senate holds hearings on a Pentagon report that found little long-term risk to responsibly repealing the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that mandates that gays can only serve if they hide their sexuality.

What may be surprising to many is the support coming from Republicans:

The poll found that 53 percent of Americans “strongly” favor allowing gay men and women to serve openly, in addition to the remaining 16 percent who say they “favor not so strongly.”

Two in three Democrats and a majority of independents strongly favor changing the policy, along with 32 percent of Republicans.

Fifteen percent of Americans say they strongly oppose allowing gays to serve openly, including 30 percent of Republicans and roughly one in ten Democrats and independents. Another eight percent oppose changing the policy, though not strongly.

I think these number show the dichotomy on the right between the social issues brigade and the more libertarian wing of the party. I don’t believe fiscal concerns will be enough to prevent a confrontation between these two concepts of conservatism, as Senator Scott Brown is learning. Stating he’d vote to repeal DADT after dealing with the budget and taxes, the Massachusetts Senator is coming under attack:

One of Scott Brown’s earliest and staunchest conservative backers in his long-shot Senate campaign erupted in outrage yesterday after the Republican unexpectedly announced he would support allowing gay troops to serve openly in the military.

“We had a little bit of a seismic shock here today,” said a “disappointed” Massachusetts Family Institute director Kris Mineau, a well-known fixture on Brown’s campaign bus.

More Republicans support repealing DADT than those who don’t, so groups like Mr. Mineau’s should get used to disappointment, in my opinion. The genie can’t be put back in the bottle and an increasing number of younger conservatives are not interested in continuing with a social agenda, and gay rights are at the forefront of this trend.

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