Here’s some good, if unsurprising, news: support for allowing gays to serve openly in the military is up considerably since 2004. For the past few decades public opinion on all kinds of gay issues has trended more tolerant by about 1% per year, and Gallup’s latest poll confirms this: in the past five years support for allowing gays and lesbians to serve has increased from 63% to 69%.
Perhaps surprisingly, the biggest shift comes from conservatives, who have become more supportive by 12 percentage points, moving from 46% in favor to 58% in favor. Regular churchgoers and the young have also made bigger-than-average jumps.
There’s a rule of thumb that says social policies are resistant to change until they garner two-thirds support from the public. Allowing gays to serve openly in the military has now officially passed that point. That means it’s safe to keep your campaign promise and act, Mr. President.