Public support for allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military varies depending on the terminology used, a new CBS/NYT Times poll finds.
When the poll asked whether respondents favor "gay men and lesbians" serving openly in the military, 58% said yes. However, when the wording was changed to "homosexuals," support dropped to just 44%, with 42% saying they were opposed.
The same phenomenon was found when the survey asked about support for gays serving in the military in general (i.e. not openly).
When hearing the "gay men and lesbians" wording, 70% responded favorably, including 51% who responded "strongly" favorably.
But when the poll refered to "homosexuals," support dropped to 59%, with just 34% "strongly" in favor.