October 29, 2010 | by Chris Johnson
Majority of troops indifferent to open service: reports

The Pentagon study on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”  will reveal that a majority of U.S. service members and their families don’t care if gays serve openly in the military, according to media reports.

The study, which is due to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Dec. 1, will include the results of surveys that were sent earlier this year to service members and their family members. These survey results will reportedly demonstrate a majority of troops are indifferent to having openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the military.

NBC News first reported the news on Thursday. A Pentagon spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to the Blade’s request to comment to confirm the reporting.

According to the Associated Press, the survey is also expected to reveal challenges to overturning the law, including ”overcoming fierce opposition in some parts of the military even if they represent a minority.”

In a statement, Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said he’s “gratified” the initial results of the study are positive, but expressed doubts about the need for the Pentagon study.

“While we are gratified that the initial results of this survey are positive and that our troops are fair and respectful of their gay and lesbian colleagues, we continue to question the wisdom of surveying people on a discriminatory law that runs contrary to our national security interests,” Solmonese said.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said the initial reports about the survey are good news.

“The majority of young troops are okay serving side by side with their gay comrades, and their attitudes reflect how most Americans feel about open service: It’s no big deal, let’s move on and get the job done,” he said.

Both LGBT organizations called on the Senate to move forward with passing legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during the lame duck session of Congress.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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