People Are Stupid: 70% Approve of Gays And Lesbians Serving in the US Military. Only 44% Approve of Homosexuals Serving in the Military. Uh…HUH?

This bit of stupidity from the New York Times:

“The results highlight the importance of wording on the issue. In a test, half of the poll’s respondents were asked their opinion on permitting “gay men and lesbians” to serve, and the other half were asked about permitting “homosexuals” to serve.

The wording of the question proved to make a difference. Seven in 10 respondents said they favor allowing “gay men and lesbians” to serve in the military, including nearly 6 in 10 who said they should be allowed to serve openly. But support was somewhat lower among those who were asked about allowing “homosexuals” to serve, with 59 percent in favor, including 44 percent who support allowing them to serve openly.

Democrats in the poll seemed particularly swayed by the wording. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats said they support permitting gay men and lesbians to serve openly. Fewer Democrats however, just 43 percent, said they were in favor of allowing homosexuals to serve openly. Republicans and independents varied less between the two terms.

As the debate of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” moves forward, these findings illustrate the influence that simple language can have.

The national telephone poll was conducted with 1,084 adults Feb. 5-10 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points for each half sample. Complete poll results and article will be available this evening at http://www.nytimes.com.”

I do understand the importance of wording. I guess “gay and lesbian” is more friendly that “homosexual” but are people really so stupid that they don’t understand the difference?

I have mixed feelings on the DADT policy. Is it a clear violation of the 14th amendment? Absolutely. Is implementing a huge change like retracting DADT in the middle of two wars a good idea? I’m not sure. Integration and being able to serve your country openly as who you are, as well as being able to list your partner as your beneficiary is something I’d like to see, but there are the practical issues of warfare and combat to consider. In the civilian world there is no question in my mind as to the social obligation toward equality. I think that those changes probably need to come to the civilian world first, get people used to the idea of acceptance and equality before we start fully integrating the military.

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~ by K. Ritcheson on February 12, 2010.

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