by Max Brantley
A Pentagon study to be released this afternoon is expected to find no serious obstacles to ending the ban on military service by acknowledged gay people. It will also show that the troops — even more than a strong majority in the public at large — are at ease with the idea.
This will not, you may be sure, be enough for Mark Pryor and John McCain or hate groups like the Family Research Council and affiliates.
UPDATE: Here come the details:
According to a survey sent to 400,000 service members, 69 percent of those responding reported that they had served with someone in their unit who they believed to be gay or lesbian. Of those who did, 92 percent stated that their unit's ability to work together was very good, good, or neither good nor poor, according to the sources.
Combat units reported similar responses, with 89 percent of Army combat units and 84 percent of Marine combat units saying they had good or neutral experiences working with gays and lesbians.
At the same time, the report found that 30 percent of those surveyed overall — and between 40 and 60 percent of the Marine Corps — either expressed concern or predicted a negative reaction if Congress were to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law, which allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military on the condition that they keep their sexuality a secret.
Defense Secretary Gates has asked Congress to repeal the ban on gay service this year, but give the military time to implement the change. Those counseling against a "rush" to repeal are either poorly informed or dishonest. As Tap has noted so often, until the ban is lifted the military can do nothing to gradually adapt to the change. Change would be illegal.