Monday August 16, 2010

Poll: Voters Say No to Abortions on Military Bases, Repealing DADT

By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 16, 2010 ( – A new survey commissioned by the Military Culture Coalition (MCC) indicates that American voters would prefer to keep in place the 1993 law banning homosexuals serving in the military. The poll also indicated that U.S. voters oppose allowing abortion on military bases.

The MCC survey of 1000 likely voters nationwide found that 48 percent said they would prefer to keep the 1993 law, with 45 percent favoring repeal.

A plurality (48 percent of voters) said Congress should give more weight to the testimony of the four service chiefs than advocates of overturning the law, which is often conflated with a corresponding Pentagon policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Forty-one percent said that Congress should heed the advice of advocates for repeal of the law and DADT.

But voters also gave strong signs they did not want the acceptance of homosexuals to turn the military into a training camp for social experimentation.

Fifty-five percent of voters disagreed with the statement that the “military should modify training programs to promote acceptance of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in all military colleges, training programs, and schools run by the U.S. Defense Department.” Just 40 percent voiced agreement.

Voters also held that politics, not principle, motivated President Barack Obama’s promise to overturn the 1993 law by a full 26 percentage points (57 percent – 31 percent).

Only one percent of likely voters said repeal of DADT and the 1993 law should be a priority for the Congress and President Obama.

However, the poll also indicated that Congressmen would receive more voter blowback for repealing the 1993 law than they would for maintaining the status quo. Thirty percent said they would be less likely to vote for their Member of Congress for changing the status quo, while 21 percent said they would be more likely.

Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), which also sponsored the MCC survey, told (LSN) Friday that Americans “prefer the status quo. They prefer the law stay where it is.”

She said that the poll contradicts the narrative of many civilian surveys, which have simply polled adults, as opposed to likely voters – something that the MCC survey avoids.

“They don’t explain what the law actually says. Ours is different: it does ask about the law itself, it even asks the respondents to comment on statements right out of the current law,” explained Donnelly.

Donnelly pointed out that the 45 percent of respondents supporting repeal of the law is a full 30 points less than the February 2010 ABC/Washington Post survey showing 75 percent of surveyed adults favored inclusion of professed gays in the military.

“So it calls into question a lot of the civilian surveys that have been done up to today.”

The U.S. House of Representatives has already voted to repeal the law behind DADT. The matter will be decided in the Senate where Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is trying to cobble together a filibuster to prevent a September vote on the repeal, which is included in a military appropriations bill.

Also in the bill is a measure to repeal the ban on abortions being performed on U.S. military bases that was submitted by Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.).

According to the MCC poll, voters were more decidedly opposed to allowing abortion in U.S. military medical facilities, by a margin of 49 percent to 41 percent. Also the political ramifications were greater, as 43 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for lawmakers who approve tax-funded abortions at military bases, while just 21 percent said they would be more likely.

Further details of the Military Culture Coalition survey can be found here:

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