In a recent Military Times poll, 73% of active duty service members said someone coming out as gay would have no impact on their unit. These numbers are the first real gauge of the military’s attitude on the issue since the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
Prior to the repeal, coming out would have been a fireable offense. In the same study 5% responded that it would have a positive effect. Combined 78% in the study think someone coming out would have either a positive or no impact. Only 21% think it would affect the unit negatively (rounding makes the total just short of 100%.)
Groups that opposed the repeal of DADT like Center for Military Readiness claimed that letting gays serve openly would harm combat effectiveness and unit morale. Proponents of the repeal, like the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network say it’s a civil rights issue and active duty members should be able to serve openly and not forced into hiding.
The survey shows that active duty service members seem to be in no rush to come out. According to the Army Times of the 25 members of the study who identified as openly gay, lesbian or bisexual…
Only one had come out of the closet at work since repeal; the rest either said their unit members knew about their orientation before repeal, or they continue to keep their orientation private.
The Obama administration ended the nearly two decade long policy last year.