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Source: Most service members surveyed don't care about DADT repeal

By Chris Lawrence, CNN
  • Service members who responded to survey don't care if DADT is repealed
  • Response rate was 28 percent
  • Members of Congress will get a briefing Tuesday

Washington (CNN) -- A majority of U.S. service members surveyed do not care if the law banning openly gay and lesbian troops from serving is repealed, according to a source knowledgeable with the results of the Pentagon study. Members of Congress are to get an advance look at the study Tuesday.

The number opposing lifting the ban -- known as "don't ask, don't tell" -- fearing negative results "is very small when compared to those who say it will have positive or mixed results, or no effect at all," the source explained.

However, the source cautioned about taking the results as a true reflection of the entire force. The low number of respondents, just 28 percent of those who were sent the survey, means "the study only represents views, it doesn't mean everyone feels this way."

The report was ordered by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to examine the impact of a repeal of the law and what the military would need to do to implement it. The Pentagon is publishing the results Tuesday afternoon, after briefing Congress.

The report authors sent surveys to 400,000 service members, but only 115,000 responded. A separate survey went to military families. The survey is just part of the report fact finding, which also included small town halls and an anonymous online comment box for gay troop members to provide insight without revealing their identity.