Geof Stone on the Role of the Courts in Ending DADT
The standard theme of democracy is that "the majority rules." In our democracy, this is usually what happens. But not always. Consider the issue of "don't ask, don't tell." According to all recent public opinion polls, the vast majority of Americans have come around to the view that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military and that the current policy is discriminatory, unjust and counter-productive.
Indeed, in a recent CNN poll, 72 percent of all Americans favored repealing "don't ask, don't tell," and only 23 percent favored the continuation of the policy. Moreover, a similar Gallup poll reports that every major population group favors the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Repeal is supported not only by liberals, Democrats, and young people, but also by Republicans (58 percent), conservatives (58 percent), people over age 65 (60 percent), and even the usually most conservative group of all -- weekly churchgoers (60 percent). It is difficult, especially in these polarized times, to find so broad a consensus for any public policy.