HRC Statement on Meet the Press DADT Discussion with Sen. McCain

by HRC Staff

Washington - This morning on NBC's Meet the Press, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) took issue with the preliminary findings-leaked to the Washington Post last week-- of the Pentagon survey on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. He also said he does not think repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the 18-year old discriminatory law that bans openly gay and lesbian troops from serving their country, should happen during the lame-duck session of Congress, set to begin tomorrow. The president of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, issued this statement.

"Obviously the senator doesn't like the preliminary findings of the Pentagon's DADT survey, which found a clear majority of U.S. service members are okay serving with their gay and lesbian comrades. The senator has known all along the study developed by the Pentagon Working Group was looking at how to repeal DADT-not whether to do so.

"McCain has said he wanted to hear from the senior military leadership. He heard loud and clear from Secretary Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, last February when both were firmly in support of repeal.

"McCain has said he wanted to hear from rank-and-file troops. He has just heard loud and clear from them through the survey. But he doesn't like their answer-- and is stonewalling, trying to run out the clock on repeal by calling for congressional hearings.

"The truth is McCain is increasingly alone in his irrational opposition to open service. Sixty-four percent of Republicans disagree with McCain and favor lifting the ban. No matter the evidence, McCain will use whatever tactics at his disposal to not only stop repeal from moving forward, but will hold hostage the most critical military defense bill to do so."

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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