'What Would You Do If a Gay or Lesbian Were In Your Shower?' and Other Pentagon Survey Questions

"If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed and you are assigned to bathroom facilities with an open bay shower that someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian Service member also used, which are you most likely to do? Mark 1."

So asks the Pentagon survey of 400,000 non-deployed active troops regarding the pending repeal of the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The choices:

“Take no action;

“Use the shower at a different time than the Service member I thought to be gay or lesbian;

“Discuss how we expect each other to behave and conduct ourselves;

“Talk to a chaplain, mentor, or leader about how to handle the situation;

“Talk to a leader to see if I had other options;

“Something else;

“Don't know.”

The advocacy group Servicemembers United has obtained a copy of the Pentagon survey, which can be read HERE . And its members don’t like it.

Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United and a former Army interrogator discharged under DADT, says in a statement that it will be “safe for gay and lesbian troops to participate in this survey” but “it is simply impossible to imagine a survey with such derogatory and insulting wording, assumptions, and insinuations going out about any other minority group in the military.”

Nicholson says the survey “stokes the fires of homophobia by its very design and will only make the Pentagon's responsibility to subdue homophobia as part of this inevitable policy change even harder.

I’ve asked the Pentagon to respond, and I’ve asked Nicholson to explain which questions he found most biased and derogatory, and I’ll be updating this blog post when they get back to me.

- Jake Tapper

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