"In a number of areas, Senator John McCain is praised for moderation that he has not in fact shown in his votes. It is true that by comparison to many of the angry right-wingers that have dominated the Republican Party with Senator McCain's general support he is less extreme and he has from time-to-time shown an amiability that contrasts with the snarling demeanor of some of his co-partisans. But all this shows is that it is possible to be prejudiced all of the time and pleasant some of the time when it comes to the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. With one exception, the relevance of which Senator McCain himself is rapidly diminishing, John McCain's record is completely opposed to our efforts to combat prejudice and gain legal equality.
"The one exception has to do with his vote against the constitutional amendment that would have banned marriage. He did vote against that amendment on states' rights grounds. But in his effort to win over the right wing support he has needed to secure the Republican nomination and hold Republican votes in November, he has paved the way for a retreat from that position. He has begun to outline circumstances in which he would support such an amendment, even taking the unconstitutional position that he would "sign" a constitutional amendment if elected president. In fact, presidents do not get to sign or not sign constitutional amendments, and McCain did subsequently clarify that he would only support such an amendment if the courts had held that states must recognize each other's marriages. He has of course made it clear that he will support constitutional Amendments banning marriage at the state level, including in his own state of Arizona, and he regretted the fact that Arizona rejected such an amendment.
"In every other area, McCain has a consistent voting record against our efforts. In 1996, the only time the Senate voted on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, McCain was one of those who voted no. He has also consistently voted against extending hate crimes protection to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender individuals.
"In the area of gays in the military, he is one of those who made sure that President Clinton's effort to lift the ban would fail. For example, when President Clinton first proposed lifting the ban, McCain was one of its leading opponents, saying for example on January 27, 1993, "It is incredible to me that President Clinton ... has decided to lift the ban without consulting any leading military official or veterans' organization." In fact, there had been such consultations with military officials and they had opposed the president. Colin Powell, then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was our leading opponent and McCain, Sam Nunn and other leading pro-military figures combined to defeat the effort.
"Now that many who supported the ban when it was first imposed, including former Republican Senator Alan Simpson and former Army Chief of Staff John Shalikash-Vili, and with Senators Clinton and Obama firmly committed to lifting the ban, John McCain has firmly renewed his support for it -- "I believe that the don't ask don't tell policy is working ... I hear that from our military commanders all the time. There are some issues in which you just have to rely on the views of our military leaders if you're going to give them responsibility for the lives and the welfare of men and women who are serving under their command."
"This apparently reflects the prejudiced view that he expressed in 1993 when he was helping block President Clinton's effort when he said on February 4th, as recorded in the Congressional Record, "The issue of allowing open gay lifestyles in the military is completely different from the kind of changes taking place in civil life ... Homosexuality is a behavioral trait, unlike skin color."
"In addition to strongly opposing same-sex marriage, suggesting that he could modify his opposition to a federal constitutional amendment banning states like Massachusetts from adopting same-sex marriage, voting against ENDA, consistently opposing hate crimes coverage for us, and being recorded against every other effort in the Senate to give us fair treatment, Senator McCain also promised if he becomes president to reduce those protections we have been able to achieve at the Supreme Court level. He has noted his admiration for those justices who have consistently voted against any efforts by GLBT people to establish any right to legal equality, for example Chief Justice Rehnquist, a dissenter in the Lawrence v. Texas case, in which the sodomy laws against gay and lesbian people were stricken.
"Given the alignment of Supreme Court Justices, and their ages, it is virtually certain that if John McCain is president, he will appoint justices who will overturn the Lawrence decision and the leading Supreme Court opponent of fair treatment for gay and lesbian people, Antonin Scalia, will gain allies from McCain's appointments.
"It is also the case that under Republican presidents we have seen virtually no significant appointments of openly gay and lesbian people, with the exception of an ambassador and some appointments to fairly unimportant commissions. In the Clinton administration, by contrast, and the administrations of most Democratic governors, there are appointments made to high positions without regard to any LGBT prejudice and so we are fairly represented."Via The Democratic Party