Servicemembers United Blasts Military Spouse Survey on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Spouse Survey Slightly Less Biased, More Derogatory Toward Gays and Lesbians WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, released a briefing memo today that blasted the biased design and derogatory and insulting content of the recent Pentagon survey of military spouses about the impending repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. The survey, which went out on Friday to 150,000 heterosexual military spouses, contained fewer methodological biases than the previous Pentagon survey, although the spouse survey was more inherently derogatory towards gay and lesbian Americans than the previous survey.

"While it is wise to solicit and consider military spouse input on policy changes that will have a major impact on military families, it is extremely unwise to do so for  issues that have minimal impact on spouses while also using poorly designed, biased and derogatory survey instruments," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." "The Pentagon should be concerned with real family readiness issues like excessive deployments, inadequate mental health screenings and support, low troop pay, reductions in housing subsidies for military families, and inadequate spousal employment support instead of spending $4.4 million on a politically-motivated and unnecessary survey about gays and lesbians."

After the first survey of 400,000 active duty and reserve troops was released in July, Servicemembers United led the nationwide protest against the methodological bias and the derogatory content within this survey. Servicemembers United also launched www.SurveyRefund.org to demand that the contractor refund the exorbitant sum of taxpayer money - $4.4 million - that was paid for the survey contract.

A copy of the briefing memo on the spouse survey can be found at:
www.servicemembersunited.org/spousesurveymemo

A copy of the briefing memo on the previous survey of active duty and reserve troops can be found at:
www.servicemembersunited.org/surveymemo

A follow-up memo in response to Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell's 30-minute press briefing about Servicemembers United's criticism can be found at:
www.servicemembersunited.org/morrellresponse

Servicemembers United, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, is the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies. Based in Washington, DC, Servicemembers United actively engages in education and advocacy on issues affecting the gay military, veteran, and defense community.

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