Before the U.S. House passed a measure yesterday that would end the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military, Congressman Jared Polis issued a news release citing a study finding that eight out of 10 Americans support repealing the law. “Regardless of their political party, people recognize that on the battlefield it doesn’t matter if a soldier is gay or straight,” Polis, a Boulder Democrat, stated before joining the 250-170 vote to repeal the 17-year-old policy—marking the second time the U.S. House has voted in favor of repeal this year.
Colorado’s remaining four Democratic U.S. representatives also voted for the measure, while their two Republican counterparts, Mike Coffman and Doug Lamborn, voted against. Coffman, who served in the war in Iraq, frets over how combat troops would come to grips with undoing the law (via news release). But as The Washington Post points out, “70 percent of those in the military said they believe repeal would have little or no effect on their units,” with the Marines providing the least support of the three military branches. Still, the nation’s top two military officials, as well as President Barack Obama, firmly back gays and lesbians serving openly (also via The Washington Post).