Poll: ‘Sea Change’ In Support For Gays In The Military


A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday shows increasing support for gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The survey finds that 50% of Americans support allowing gays to serve openly in the military, up from 40% a decade ago. Thirty-eight percent of respondents favor gays serving under the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” guidelines, and only 10% don’t want to allow gays in the military at all.

Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart and Republican Bill McInturff conducted the poll.McInturff described the results as a triumph for America:

For a country to over a generation have this level of change in a social policy of this magnitude is, I think, unheard of in the world — in the history of the world. I mean, this is just an incredible country. And if you look back at gay marriage, and you look back at attitudes of gays in policy and you go back 20 years, this is a sea change in tolerance and acceptance on a scale that is profound, and I think could not happen anywhere else in the world except this country.”

Back in February, we reported that public support for gays in the military often depends on the wording used to describe homosexuals. According to a CBS News/New York Times poll at the time, 70% of respondents supported “gay men and lesbians” in the military, compared to 57% who supported “homosexuals.”


David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.