04/14/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Vast Majority Of Americans Support Allowing Gays In The Military: POLL

Seventy-five percent of Americans believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Friday shows.

A majority of Americans across party lines support gay and lesbian military service, including 82 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents, and 64 percent of Republicans.

The survey, which used the term "homosexuals" in questions on this topic, also offers a window into how different demographic groups view the issue. While 65 percent of men and 69 percent of seniors said they favor allowing gay and lesbian people to openly serve in the military, 84 percent of women and 81 percent of young adults under 30 said the same.

Eighty-one percent of those who said they have a gay friend or family member support allowing gays to serve openly, compared with 66 percent of those who said they do not know someone who is gay.

The telephone poll of 1,004 adults was conducted from Feb. 4 to 8 and had a 3 percentage point margin of error.

A separate CBS News/ New York Times poll released Thursday also found relatively strong support for allowing gays to serve openly.

When respondents were asked if "homosexuals" should serve in the military, 59 percent said they were supportive and 34 percent were strongly supportive, while ten percent said they somewhat opposed and 19 percent strongly opposed.

But when the question was changed to whether people supported "gay men and lesbians" serving in the military, the responses changed. Seventy percent of Americans said they support "gay men and lesbians" serving in the military, with 19 percent saying they somewhat favor it. Seven percent somewhat oppose it, and 12 percent strongly oppose it.

The CBS/New York Times poll consisted of 1,084 adults nationwide interviewed from February 5-10. It has a three percentage point margin of error.

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