Terrence P. Jeffrey, CNSNews.com
66.5 percent of U.S. Marine combat forces surveyed by a special Defense Department working group said that putting homosexuals in their units would hurt their effectiveness in the field, and 47.8 percent of Marines in combat units specifically said putting homosexuals in their units would hurt their effectiveness “in an intense combat situation.”
The U.S. Congress voted last week to repeal the law—commonly known as Don’t Ask, Don’ Tell—that barred homosexuals from serving in the military.
Earlier this year, after President Barack Obama said in his 2010 State of the Union Address that he wanted to end the ban on homosexuals in the military, Defense Secretary Robert Gates put together a special working group to begin making plans for integrating homosexuals into the Armed Forces if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell were in fact repealed.
The working group secured the services of Westat Corporation, a polling company, to survey more than 115,000 active duty service members on their attitudes and views about integrating homosexuals into the military. Among those surveyed by Westat were 989 men serving in Marine combat units.
Question 71a in Westat’s survey of these Marine combat forces read as follows: “If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed and you are working with a Service member in your immediate unit who has said he or she is gay or lesbian, how, if at all, would it affect your immediate unit’s effectiveness at completing its mission … In a field environment or out to sea?” The Marines were given 6 options for answering: Very positively, Positively, Equally as positively as negatively, Negatively, Very negatively, No effect.
The Marines in combat units answered as follows….