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Over a decade, 'Sea change' in support of gays in the military

Support for gays and lesbians serving in the military has jumped from a decade ago, according to the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll out today.

A majority of Americans -- 50% -- now say they favor gay men and women serving, a 10-point jump from 2000, when 40% said so. Another 38% favor gays serving under the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy, and just 10% now say they oppose them serving at all, a drop from the nearly a quarter (22%) who said so a decade ago.

“I think this is a triumph of America,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the poll with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart. “For a country to over a generation have this level of change in a social policy of this magnitude is, I think, unheard of in the world -- in the history of the world. I mean, this is just an incredible country. And if you look back at gay marriage, and you look back at attitudes of gays in policy and you go back 20 years, this is a sea change in tolerance and acceptance on a scale that is profound, and I think could not happen anywhere else in the world except this country.”