McCain Says ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Not a Civil Rights Issue; Won’t Ask Gay Service Members How They’re Affected

Excerpts from an interview with Senator John McCain about the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy were published in the 'Arizona Daily Star' over the weekend. His answers to questions from the paper were, sadly, as expected.

Mccain  STAR: Well I guess I'm just wondering do you see it as some have put it as a civil rights issue?

McCAIN: No. No, I don't. As Colin Powell said when don't ask, don't tell was first inaugurated, there's a difference between sexual preference and the color of one's skin. That was General Powell's statement.

STAR: That was years ago.

McCAIN: He was in favor of it, and now he's come out … for the repeal. Yeah. I think what he said then still holds true today, that it is a different issue. I think Colin Powell wants to repeal don't ask, don't tell. I don't think he views it now as a civil rights issue, though.

McCain was also asked if he sought out gay service members in order to form his determination that the policy was working.

Replied McCain: "I make that determination by retention and recruitment is at an all-time high, the highest in the history of the all-volunteer force. I get that opinion because I visit with the troops all the time. I go to Iraq, I go to Afghanistan, I run into them everywhere. And of course I don't seek out someone who is gay. Why should I? These are all men and women who are serving. Why should I, that would be nuts. I go up to men and women and I say thanks for serving. I say thank you for serving, you are great Americans, God bless you…"

In related news, here's a great piece from JP Massar at Pam's House Blend regarding getting a repeal amendment into the Defense Authorization Bill.

Writes Massar: "Based on internet searches, Senators' party affiliation, their positions on related matters, and some guessing, I have sorted the 28 SASC members into six categories with respect to their likely stances on repeal. Below I've put together a summary, the individual categorizations, the eleven swing votes I see on the committee, supporting evidence (if any), and explanatory references as to why the SASC is the only game in town and will play both a necessary and critical role in DADT repeal."


  1. Jason says

    Calling it a “preference” is so insulting to me. One “prefers” ketchup over mustard… I wonder if he would classify his own sexuality as a preference? Does he have sex with men and women, but just “prefers” women?

  2. candideinnc says

    Each year thousands of young people commit suicide because they are unable to come to grips with their homosexuality, and nitwits like this turd McCain continue to act as though gays have a choice in their sexual “preference.” No, Johnnie boy, being gay is as much a feature of one’s identity as their race. It ain’t a choice!

  3. says

    McCain is either being disingenuous or plain stupid: Recruitment and retention are at high levels because the economy has been in the toilet since at least 2007. When young people can’t find jobs, military recruitment increases.

    It’s the economy, stupid.

  4. stephen says

    McCain is a jerk, but the problem here is the Interviewer… how about a follow-up question?!!

    The media in general makes it too easy for these buffoons to carry-on, not a big deal except that they unfortunately have the mic.

  5. JesryPo says

    The best question, and one I cannot for the life of me understand why no one has asked McCain and his ilk, is “Are you saying that men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces aren’t mature enough to handle openly serving gays and lesbians among their ranks? They’re not as mature as the British, since you seem to think they can’t handle it?”

  6. gomez says

    i don’t see the big hullabaloo over “preference”. i prefer chocolate over vanilla, and men over women. it’s no less valid than saying “orientation”.

    also, mccain. he’s old. losing side of history and he knows it.

  7. AggieCowboy says

    And, of course, why ask or even speak to the people the law affects. After all, ignorance is bliss. If he actually took the time to understand how the law adversely affects military personnel, he might have to actually support repeal. Which means HIS job would be in jeopardy because he would lose his far right base. Why doesn’t he just tell us the truth, that support of repeal is political suicide for him? So much for the “Maverick”.

  8. walter says

    this old bastard should just follow macarthur theory old soldiers never die they just fade away. time for mcdribble to fade away. but it does prove one thing politics must be profitable look how hard these clowns fight to stay in it.he looks like a bloated corpse just doesn’t know enough to climb into the coffin

  9. BobN says

    Recruitment is at an all-time high? Retention rates are great?

    When did that happen? Both were doing dismally must a couple years ago, with the services lowering standards and upping bonuses to maintain a fighting force (and over-deploying that force).

    I guess the sucky economy has a silver lining… or McCain’s just making stuff up as he goes.

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