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Americans support 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal, new poll finds

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, found that 54 percent of Americans polled say the 17-year-old 'don't ask, don't tell' law that forbids openly homosexual men and women from serving in the military should be reversed.

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A new poll from a Democratic pollster shows a solid majority of Americans support allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military
as the Pentagon prepares a study on how the law would be repealed.

About 54 percent of the American public believe the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that forbids homosexuals from serving openly should be repealed, according to the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, in a poll released Wednesday. Another 35 percent do not think the law should be repealed, according to the poll.

The poll is one of many showing an electorate that is generally supportive of repealing the law, passed in 1993. President Obama has pledged to lift the ban on openly homosexual service members, and the nation’s top military officer last month declared that repeal is “the right thing to do.” Next month, the Pentagon will complete a preliminary assessment of how a repeal would work. Repealing the law will likely take a year or more, and the decision to do so lies in the hands of Congress.

“The country is in an impressive place,” said Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who heads the Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research firm. “There is no other issue that I’ve seen that is less polarizing – it’s so improbable.”

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