Pew has a new poll out today showing that the nation has shifted on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, since the 1990s. Only 27 percent of Americans oppose gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, down from 45 percent in 1994. Fifty-eight percent of Americans support ending DADT. Even among Republicans, there is a narrow split: 44 percent oppose gays serving, while 40 percent favor. One in three white evangelicals support allowing gays to serve, and among those who attend religious services weekly, the divide is 40/40. In short, opposing the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is not a political winner for most politicians.
Support for same sex marriage has also been rising rapidly, from 27 percent in 1996 to 42 percent in 2010. On this question, independents are closer to Democrats than Republicans in viewing same sex marriage as not a big deal.
Similar trends can be found when it comes to gays and lesbians raising children. A minority of Americans in 2010 (43 percent) think it is bad for society to have more gay couples raising children, while a majority think it is either a good thing (12 percent) or it makes no difference (41 percent) to have gay couples in parenting roles. In 2007, according to Pew, 50 percent of Americans said it was bad for society to have gay couples raising children, which means three years have yielded a seven point swing, which is sure to continue, since younger Americans tend to be more accepting of homosexuality than older Americans.