November 30th, 2010
04:30 PM ET

Pentagon: Letting openly gay troops serve won't hurt military

Charley Keyes, Dana Bash and Chris Lawrence

Washington (CNN) - Letting openly gay or lesbian troops serve in the military would have little lasting impact on the U.S. armed forces, a major Pentagon review has found, several sources familiar with the results told CNN Tuesday.

Putting an end to "don't ask, don't tell" would have "some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention," the year-long study found, but the effects would not be long-lasting or widespread.

There will be some strong minority opposition, particularly in the Marines and some combat arms specialist units, said the chairs of the study, Defense Department General Counsel Jeh C. Johnson and Army Gen. Carter F. Ham.

As many as 40 to 60 percent of troops in those units were against changing the 17-year-old policy that lets gay and lesbian troops serve as long as their sexual orientation is secret.

Overall opposition throughout the military was about 30 percent - roughly the same as it is in America as a whole, according to recent findings from CNN/Opinion Research Corp. and the Pew Forum.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Gay & Lesbian Issues
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. joe

    First I am not a gay rights supporter but being a vet I feel that I have to comment on gays in the services.If the men and women in the military can live with it and it does not affect or hinder there lives than so be it.Since the services are controlled by the federal goverment whatever is good for them should be good for all fed employees.Being no gays in the military than no gays working in goverment we all no that we have gays serving in high places in goverment lets make it even across the board.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:01 am |
  2. Amie

    I was able to watch a brief segment regarding the 'Don't ask, Don't tell'. I am currently serving active duty Navy and was upset to hear about the surveys that were conducted to come to the decision to repeal it as I have not had the chance to participate in this survey nor know of anyone who has. My concern is who is given these surverys and having the chance to voice their opinion if we are not?

    December 1, 2010 at 5:29 am |
  3. Rick Cairns

    Here's the only arguement that matters: In this country, the military serves at the direction of civilians. The civilians in this country want DADT ended. For the military to do anything but end DADT is simply insubordination. For instance, the Commandant of the marines should already have been replaced.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:26 am |
  4. Ben Gonzalez

    Former Marine / Army – i know for a fact the attrition rate for active military service members will skyrocket if this measure passes.

    December 1, 2010 at 2:28 am |
  5. Michael

    History will judge John McCain as the George Wallace of our era standing at the door to block equality and keep discrimination alive. Stop being a sore loser Mr. McCain, end Don't Ask Don't Tell now.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:31 am |
  6. Tim

    The politicians in Washington need to stay out of the battle field! I am veteran and one of the first things that happen when being inducted to serve is to strip you of everything, your hair, your clothes and your identity. Everyone becomes the same! Bring your sexual preferences out in the open only opens up a can of problems. Everyone including the politicians need to keep their choices behind closed doors.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  7. shane kingbird

    why cant they fight... I dont care bout there sex or wat kind of sex they have. BUT I respect that they are fightin for the u.s.a.. So they have the rite to be gay an fight for the rite to stay open bout been gay... I dont care for a gay person. but i respect they are willing to put there life on the line for every man, woman an child in this county.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  8. Richard O'Brien

    I have served for over 28 years and I truly believe that my generation and McCain's generation must pass away to end the suspecion surrounding gays serving in the military. They served when I served and many knew their orientation. The openness is an issue in a uniform service.
    Nancy Pfotenhauer is incorrect – the Chiefs of the services are administrative not operational = the CINC's are the operational commanders. If the operational commanders agree to allow the change than all should comply. I have served in two wars but not in the confinement of Sen McCain. He is passionate, I too am passionate but not in the public spot light. I think those serving will make the decision – fallout will happen and should be anticipated. I am on the fence but support the decision – as I always do.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  9. Heather

    I would like to know how they can say that 70% of the military is for the repeal of the DADT policy when probably less than 1/4 of us were asked. I would really like to see all of the actual numbers on this since I am soldier in the US Army, and neither I, nor any of the people I know (and it is many), were ever asked.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  10. krysti

    If you are concerned about the troops dying in combat and how they feel about gays in the military, please realize many of those are gays who sacrificed just like the rest.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    I wish those that oppose DADT repeal would at least be honest. The major issue as the survey of military shows is that opposition is based on religious beliefs.The vast majority in the political arena who oppose repeal are Republicans ( religious bias there) and yet they spout, especially tea partiers, support for the constitution.
    Those kinds of double standards are why I find it extremely difficult to vote Republican. I am conservative by nature but do not like thier current ( or past 2 years) behaviour at all.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  12. Anthony Hargrave

    I'm sure there have been gays in the Military for years now. I don't understand why now they feel the need to flaunt it.
    I dont believe the numbers on this poll. Surely they haven't asked soldiers
    If DADT is repealed I will leave the military after having served 14yrs. I've had enough with the social experiments.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  13. Jorge Delgado

    To repeal the "Don't ask, Don't Tell" policy would be a mistake. Why is it necessary for a soldier to know the sexual preference of another? Just because a select few can accept or tolerate homosexuality, doesn't mean everyone can. In all honesty, I believe the homosexual community simply wants to live their alternative lifestyle, without having to suffer severe reprimand. If that is so, why not amend the current policy instead of repealing it? It would just make sense, allow them to live their lifestyle as long as they do not force, push, or persuade it onto others. On another note, GOD loves us all but he doesn't approve of the sins we commit. I accept the homosexual community but that does not mean I approve of their lifestyle. All in all, repealing the policy is pure nonsense.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  14. "Chapala" Don

    I am a gay man who has shared 48 years of his life with one man and frankly do not understand why any of my fellow men/women who are gay would want to put his/her life on the line for so many mean-spirited, insensitive perpetrators of mental and emotional cruelty as are currently spreading their poison in the good old equality-and-justice-for-all USA.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  15. Ruth

    I am a military wife of over 18 years and I have to say I have lived on military bases most of my husbands career and have met several gay military soldiers and one thing the ones i have been friends with all said that they could have any straight man. or in females case she actually told me she could have my daughter if she wanted. my daughter was of age at that time and straight. so yes I believe that it would be detremental to the military. It will just be a matter of time before someone gets hurt if someone makes a pass at the wrong person.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  16. Bruce

    DADT what why does this country need to continue to ruin institutions over this subject. The military is the last place this needs to come to the surface. What you don't know will not hurt you, What you think is your opinion. This is the safest way to run the military afterall its classified. The troops can accept this they are used to it. Please stop this.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  17. Richard

    Being ex-navy myself in the Vietnam era. I for myself would feel strongly about knowing that there was someone that was gay that was working beside me. I would take offense and not trust them with my life. Plain and simple

    November 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm |