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Poll finds majority want military leaders to decide on 'don't ask, don't tell'
President Obama greets U.S. troops at a mess hall on Bagram Air Force Base. Credit: Whitehouse.gov.
President Obama greets U.S. troops at a mess hall on Bagram Air Force Base. Credit: Whitehouse.gov.

.- A recent Zogby poll commissioned by the Family Research Council shows that by a margin of nearly three to one Americans think that military leaders should decide whether or not the “dont ask, don't tell” policy barring homosexuals from openly serving in the military should be repealed.

The poll conducted by the marketing group Zogby was published on May 17 and showed that 59 percent of Americans think that military leaders should be the primary decision makers on whether or not openly gay individuals should serve in the military, versus 23 percent who think the decision should be left to Congress. Eighteen percent of individuals polled responded that neither should decide or that they were unsure.

Family Research Council discussed the results of the poll as commentators weighed-in on the Obama administration's move last night to push new legislation that would overturn what is commonly known as the “don't ask, don't tell” policy.

After three lawmakers wrote to Peter Orszag, White House Budget Director, pushing for the new measure, the budget director responded on May 24 saying that the Obama administration “supports the proposed amendment.”

Although a main concern from critics of the move is that there is not enough time for the Pentagon to complete its review of how to implement the measure, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is expected to present the issue on the House floor later this week. 

Tony Perkins, president of FRC, denounced the initiative in a conference call on Tuesday, saying “it appears very clearly that this is a move to use the military to advance a radical political agenda.”

Discussing the results of the Zogby poll, Perkins stated that “three to one, people believe that this (decision) should not be made by Congress but that military leaders those who lead our troops, not political appointees, not the Commander in Chief – but it should be those who serve day in and day out leading the men and women in uniform.”

Perkins added that there are many active duty military members who, although they cannot publicly speak out against the move without being “severely chastised,” would  nevertheless “love the opportunity to testify.”

“But there have been no hearings held on this issue,” he noted, “and this will assure that there will not be and what information is collected is useless because this is nothing more that a political charade.”

Family Research Council has started a petition in response to the move for new legislation, urging voters to “help keep our troops from being used to advance a liberal political agenda.”


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