NEW POLL FINDS HISTORIC SUPPORT FOR GAYS IN MILITARY

Seventy-Nine Percent of Public Now Favors Allowing Gays To Serve Openly

Media Contact:

Nathaniel Frank
Senior Research Fellow

Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the MIlitary, University of California Santa Barbara

805-893-5664

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SANTA BARBARA, CA, December 23, 2003 - A new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll has found that 79 percent of all Americans believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military. The poll, which was conducted December 5-7, 2003, surveyed 1,004 adults. Survey participants were asked, "Do you think people who are openly gay or homosexual should - or should not - be allowed to serve in the U.S. military?"

An August, 2003 Fox News poll found that 64 percent of the public believed that gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military. Previously, a 2001 survey published by MIT Press found that 56 percent of civilian respondents believed that gays should be allowed to serve openly.

According to Geoffrey Bateman, Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military (CSSMM) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the shift in public opinion may reflect ongoing concern about the firing of nine gay Arabic language specialists during the war on terror. "After ten years of Don't Ask, Don't tell, the public understands that discrimination undermines military effectiveness," Bateman said.

CSSMM Senior Research Fellow Nathaniel Frank broke the story of the Arabic linguists in a November, 2002 New Republic story, but the issue resurfaced recently when the Washington Post reported on December 3, 2003 that the military has fired 37 linguists for being gay over the past two years.

CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll - December 5-7, 2003

"Do you think people who are openly gay or homosexual should - or should not - be allowed to serve in the U.S. military?"

Male
Female
Age 18-29
Age 30-49
Age 50-64
Age 65+
Total
1004
475
529
137
400
288
173
Yes, should
79%
73%
85%
91%
81%
74%
68%
No, should not
18%
25%
12%
8%
17%
23%
24%
Don't know/refuse
3%
2%
3%
1%
2%
3%
8%


The Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military is an official research unit of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Center is governed by a distinguished board of advisors including the Honorable Lawrence J. Korb, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Honorable Coit Blacker of Stanford University and Professor Janet Halley of Harvard Law School. Its mission is to promote the study of gays, lesbians, and other sexual minorities in the armed forces. More information is available at www.gaymilitary.ucsb.edu.