A new survey among US troops has shown a sharp decline in opposition to openly gay soldiers serving in the military.

The poll of 3,000 active military personnel saw opinion against gay colleagues declining from 65 percent in 2004 to 51 percent today.

The study noted that troops were particularly concerned about “sharing close quarters and living facilities with openly gay members”.

Conducted by The Military Times, the survey also asked those polled their sexual orientation and found that 2.1 percent identified themselves as gay or bisexual, while 2.8 percent declined to answer.

The results come as the Obama administration moves to dismantle the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy which bars openly gay or lesbian personnel from serving in the military.

Last week, General Colin Powell, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who supported the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law’s passage in 1993, announced that he now also supported its repeal, noting that “attitudes and circumstances have changed”.

President Obama has committed himself to repeal the law within a year.

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