Time to come out?

Conservative Americans support openly gay folks serving in the military

Think the United States is anywhere near repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule? You might not think so, based on California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Yet, an end to the Clinton-era policy requiring gay military folks to remain hush-hush about their sexuality could be closer than you’d think.

A new survey found that a majority of conservatives nationwide now favors allowing openly gay people to serve in the armed forces. In fact, conservative support increased the most (12 percent) among all the groups identified in the poll, compared to results found in a 2004 poll on the same topic.

Here’s a breakdown of data from the two polls, showing Americans who favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military:

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November 2004 May 2009 increase National adults 63% 69% 6% Conservatives 46% 58% 12% Moderates 72% 77% 5% Liberals 83% 86% 3% Republicans 52% 58% 6% Independents 63% 67% 4% Democrats 78% 82% 4% Attend church weekly 49% 60% 11% Attend church nearly weekly/monthly 66% 70% 4% Attend church seldom/never 73% 76% 3%

Source: Gallup.com