The Pentagon on Friday denied critics' claims that a $4.5 million survey submitted to 400,000 troops as part of the "don't ask, don't tell" review process shows bias because questions pertaining to sharing showers and sleeping facilities with gay soldiers.
According to Reuters, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell refuted the claims, saying, "Absolutely, unequivocally, I reject [the accusations of bias] as nonsense."
Morrell cited concerns expressed by troops and said, "We think it would be irresponsible to conduct a survey that didn't address these kinds of [privacy-related] questions."
Reuters reports that Morrell called the study designed by the firm Westat "scientific" and added, "We're not playing games here."
The 103-question survey devotes many questions to demographic information, but includes inquires such as "If 'don't ask, don't tell' is repealed and you are assigned to bathroom facilities with an open bay shower that someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian Service member also used, which are you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?"
Possible answers include doing nothing, consulting a chaplain or other authority figure, or using the shower at a different time than the service member believed to be gay or lesbian.
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