Pentagon paying $4.4 million for gay troop survey

Sat. May 22, 2010 12:00 AM by News Staff

Chicago, IL - The Pentagon is paying an outside contractor $4.4 million to survey troops and their families about their feelings towards gay soldiers.

The Pentagon can't undertake the survey itself, because doing so would violate "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

The Boston Globe reports that 350,000 troops and their families will be asked about how they feel about homosexuality and how the issue relates to housing, benefits and recruiting.

Secret military panels have already met around the country, asking troops of all ages and backgrounds about attitudes towards gay soldiers. The Globe says that while most participants raised their hands when asked if they knew of any gay soldiers in their units, far fewer raised their hands when asked if they felt those soldiers caused problems.

Some participants have said they are concerned about sharing private quarters with gay troops. Some also talked about their own personal, religious views on the issue.

Homophobic "family" groups say the entire survey is based on the wrong premise.

"Our frustration with this working group is its charge to come up with a plan [for implementing a change in the law] rather than studying whether repeal is a good idea," Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg told the Boston Globe. "They are asking the wrong questions."