Wash. Times' Gaffney falsely claims Americans "overwhelmingly oppose" gays serving in military

››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN

In a Washington Times column, Frank Gaffney falsely asserted that Americans "overwhelmingly ... oppose conferring on homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender individuals and hermaphrodites a nonexistent 'right' to serve openly in the military." In fact, numerous polls show "overwhelmingly" high support for allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

Gaffney claims "American people" oppose gays in the military

From Gaffney's February 2 column in The Washington Times:

When the dust settles on this battle, my bet is that the American people and their elected representatives will continue overwhelmingly to oppose conferring on homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender individuals and hermaphrodites a nonexistent "right" to serve openly in the military. We will thus avoid breaking the all-volunteer force, and it will be, instead, Mr. Obama's standing as commander in chief that will have suffered further grievous and perhaps irreparable harm. [The Washington Times, 2/2/10]

Numerous polls find strong support for gays serving openly in the military

Gallup: 69 percent "in favor of military service by openly gay men and lesbians." Results of a May 2009 USA Today/Gallup poll indicated that "69% of Americans in favor of military service by openly gay men and lesbians."

Quinnipiac: 56 percent say "ban on openly gay men and women in the military should be repealed." An April 2009 Quinnipiac poll concluded, "The ban on openly gay men and women in the military should be repealed, American voters say 56-37 percent, including 50-43 percent among voters with family in the military."

CNN: poll shows "81 percent of respondents believe openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military." A January 15, 2009, CNN.com article reported: "Public opinion appears to be shifting on the matter. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted December 19-21 found that 81 percent of respondents believe openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, while 17 percent said they shouldn't."

Washington Post: 75 percent "said gay people who are open about their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve." Results from a July 2008 ABC News/Washington Post poll indicated that 75 percent of respondents support allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military. A July 19, 2008, Washington Post article reported, "Seventy-five percent of Americans in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll said gay people who are open about their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, up from 62 percent in early 2001 and 44 percent in 1993."

Wash. Times has a history of anti-gay rhetoric, including smears of gays in the military

Newspaper's attacks include warnings against "gay agenda," smears of gays in the military, and minimizing AIDS epidemic. Media Matters for America has compiled an extensive -- though by no means all-inclusive -- list of anti-gay rhetoric since the late 1980s, including the paper's warnings against the "gay agenda," attacks on the possibility of gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military, minimizing of the AIDS epidemic, and attacks on gay relationships and gay rights.

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