Friday, February 12, 2010

Savvy Americans Love "Gay Men" and "Lesbians" More Than "Homosexuals"

Framing matters in public opinion polls, but a new CBS/New York Times survey related to Don't Ask, Don't Tell has some interesting results. Apparently, while the public favors ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the level of support for discarding the policy depends upon whether the military will admit "homosexuals" or "gay men" and "lesbians." The poll finds that:

[T]he wording of the question is key when it comes to determining whether Americans support allowing gays to serve in the military.

In the poll, 59 percent say they now support allowing "homosexuals" to serve in the U.S. military, including 34 percent who say they strongly favor that. Ten percent say they somewhat oppose it and 19 percent say they strongly oppose it.

But the numbers differ when the question is changed to whether Americans support "gay men and lesbians" serving in the military. . .70 percent of Americans say they support gay men and lesbians serving in the military, including 19 percent who say they somewhat favor it. Seven percent somewhat oppose it, and 12 percent strongly oppose it.
Also, when asked whether the groups should serve "openly," 44 percent (versus 42 percent) said yes for homosexuals, but 58 percent (versus just 28 percent) said yes for gay men and lesbians.

Opponents and proponents of DADT could learn from these polling results. Proponents will likely continue to endorse including "gay men and lesbians" in the military. Opponents, however, will decry the horrors of "open homosexuals" serving in the military. If this does not work, perhaps opponents will argue that sexually deviant immoral pedophile terrorist rapist queers have no place in the armed forces. Stay tuned!


LETICIA said...

Well, everyone knows those homosexuals can't be trusted, unlike those upstanding gay men and lesbians.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Leticia: I am so glad I was not consuming any foods or beverages when I read your post -- or I would have a very messy laptop!

LETICIA said...

My apologies to you and your laptop.

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