(AP) – 12 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon study on gays in the military has determined that overturning the law known as "don't ask, don't tell" might cause some disruption at first but would not create any widespread or long-lasting problems.
The study was expected to provide some much-needed ammunition to congressional Democrats struggling to overturn the law. But despite supporters' hopes to force a vote during the lame-duck legislative session, it remains unclear whether the findings would be enough to sway skeptical Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen were expected to discuss the report later Tuesday, with the study's co-chairs, Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Army Gen. Carter Ham.
The findings were confirmed by several people familiar with the study who spoke on condition of anonymity because the results hadn't been publicly released.
The study found that 70 percent of troops surveyed believed that repealing the law would have mixed, positive or no effect, while 30 percent predicted negative consequences. Opposition was strongest among combat troops, with at least 40 percent saying it was a bad idea. That number climbs to 46 percent among Marines.
The study also draws a strong correlation between troops who have worked with a gay service member and those who support repeal. According to the assessment, 92 percent of troops who have served with someone they believed to be gay thought that their unit's ability to work together was either very good, good, or neither good nor poor.