During the campaign, President Obama promised to reverse the current policy on gays in the military, “don’t ask don’t tell.” To date, the president has not taken action and his secretary of defense has said publicly that the policy change has been pushed down the road. Most Americans (59%) favor allowing gays to serve openly in the military, and have said so at similar levels since 2005. A third of Americans (32%) oppose allowing gays to serve openly. In 1994, after the Clinton administration approved the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, there was less support (52%). While Democrats (65% to 25%) and independents (62% to 30%) support allowing gays to serve openly by more than two-to-one margins, Republicans are split on the issue (45% to 48%). However, by a similar two-to-one margin (62% to 30%), moderate and liberal Republicans favor gays serving openly, while conservative Republicans are strongly against allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces (57% oppose). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.