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Cultural Shift

“President Barack Obama may get his wish to allow gays to serve openly in the military - not because of his powers of persuasion but because arguments against it have lost traction over time. A cultural shift since Congress passed a legal ban nearly a generation ago has changed the debate. For many younger members of the military - those doing the bulk of the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq - it's hardly a debate at all. Polls show they care little about sexual orientation in their ranks. Views in the wider society have evolved; gay marriage is now legal in five states and the District of Columbia. Opinion surveys say a majority of Americans think it's OK for gays to serve in uniform. Jason Jonas, a 28-year-old former Army staff sergeant from Tempe, Ariz., said he knew of openly gay soldiers in his intelligence unit at Fort Bragg, N.C., but their lifestyle never affected unit morale. ‘I don't think it is anybody's right to say who can and who can't fight for their country,’ said Jonas, who served in Afghanistan before being injured. He is no longer in the Army. ‘Nobody cares. Don't ask, don't tell is kind of a joke.’”
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