At our GayPatriot LA dinner last night, a reader told me that earlier in the day she had heard conservative talk radio host Mike Gallagher, a staunch opponent of gay marriage, call or the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT), the Clinton-era policy banning gay people from serving openly in the military.
It’ll be interesting to see if, in the coming days, any of the gay groups highlight Gallagher’s support of gay people serving openly in the military. The Service Members Legal Defense Nework (SLDN), perhaps the least partisan of the gay organizations, did issue a release yesterday touting a Gallup poll showing that a majority of conservatives favor gays serving openly in the military:
Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, up 11 to 12 percentage points from 2004.
While my reader reported that many of Gallagher’s listeners called in to criticize his position, in coming out against the ban, he does represent a majority of conservatives.
Let us hope gay leaders reach out to Gallagher and get him to speak out more often on this issue. They may not like all of his stands, but he may be able to do something to help repeal the ban. And he does have credibility on the right and, as from what I understand, among the military.
This goes to show that just because someone holds a position at odds with the gay establishment on one issue doesn’t mean he will disagree on every issue. “Opinion,” as Michael Barone obseves,”is not arrayed on a single dimension, but flies all over the place in two or three or even four dimensions (which is to say it changes over time).” And so it is on gay issues, where someone can oppose state recognition of gay marriage, yet support the open service of gay men and lesbians in our armed forces.
Let’s hope gay groups give Gallagher some credit for publicly speaking out against DADT and find ways to work with this outspoken conservative to repeal that gratuitous legislation.