John McCain


Republican politician who served as a United States Senator for Arizona from 1987 until his death in 2018. He previously served two terms in the United States House of Representatives and was the Republican nominee for president of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.

LGBT And Marriage Issues

"McCain had a mixed record on LGBT rights, although his positions on LGBT rights were much more liberal than most of his other Republican counterparts. McCain had said that he opposed same-sex marriage or civil unions, but "McCain, who also oppose[d] an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex unions, said people should be encouraged to enter into legal agreements, particularly for insurance and other areas where decisions need to be made." In 2013, he told Anderson Cooper, that he had not changed his position but McCain said: "I have admired your forward position and stand on this issue." McCain was endorsed by Log Cabin Republicans, a Republican PAC supportive of same-sex marriage and gay rights.
In 1996 McCain voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have prohibited discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. When the bill was reintroduced in 2006, McCain told ABC's This Week, "I don't think we need specific laws that would apply necessarily to people who are gay." On November 7, 2013, he did vote in favor of ENDA.
In October 2006, McCain said he would consider changing the U.S. military's don't ask, don't tell policy: "The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, 'Senator, we ought to change the policy,' then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it." In December 2007, McCain said he supported the policy, citing reports from military leaders that "this policy ought to be continued because it's working." In January 2010, when Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen – the top civilian and uniform leadership of the military – came out in favor of repealing the policy, McCain said he was "disappointed" by their stance: "At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the Don't ask, don't tell policy," which he described as "imperfect but effective." McCain also criticized Gates for what he saw as an attempt to usurp Congressional authority over the policy. In December 2010, McCain voted against repealing the policy.
McCain broke with his party on more than one occasion by opposing a federal ban on gay marriage. In 2004, McCain voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, an amendment intended to ban gay marriage, arguing that each state should be able to choose whether to recognize same-sex marriage. He supported the failed 2006 Arizona initiative to ban same-sex marriage and the successful California Proposition 8. He also voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 which barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. In 2006, McCain again voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, one of seven Republicans to break with their party, reiterating that the issue should be left to the states. Senator John Cornyn, a conservative Republican from Texas, criticized the Democrats and Republicans voting against cloture saying that a 'no' vote on the motion was "a 'no' vote against traditional marriage."
When asked if he supported civil unions for homosexuals, McCain said: "I do not." Still, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 22, 2008, McCain said that people ought to be able to enter "legal agreements ... particularly in the case of insurance and other areas", but that the "unique status of marriage" should be retained between a man and a woman."
In July 2008, McCain told The New York Times that "I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don't believe in gay adoption." Two days later, McCain's Director of Communications said "McCain could have been clearer in the interview in stating that his position on gay adoption is that it is a state issue, just as he made it clear in the interview that marriage is a state issue." McCain also clarified that he does not support a federal ban on adoption by gay parents.
McCain's positions on LGBT rights had considerably moderated in his later years. In 2013, McCain criticized Russia's treatment of LGBT people. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which rates politicians' support for LGBT issues, gave McCain a 0% during the 114th Congress and a 25% during the 113th Congress. From 2005 to 2006, the Human Rights Campaign gave him a rating of 33%. His highest score from the HRC was a 50% from 1997 to 1998. In 2014, McCain opposed Arizona SB 1062, a proposed bill which would have amended the state's version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act to allow people of faith in the state to decline services which violate their religious convictions. The bill, which elicited considerable backlash from corporations and LGBT rights activists, was perceived as a license to discriminate against LGBT Arizonans.
In April 2016, McCain supported the nomination of openly gay Eric Fanning for Secretary of the Army and he supported LGBT protections in defense bills. In July 2017, after President Donald Trump released a statement on Twitter announcing that the ban on military service by transgender individuals would be reinstated, McCain released a statement criticizing Trump's statement as "unclear" and "yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter," adding that "there is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity." McCain also co-sponsored a "bill in support of transgender people serving in the military. ..."


John McCain’s Replacement Even Worse On LGBT Issues
Sep. 19, 2018
John McCain Thinks Kim Davis Was Right
Sept. 28, 2015
McCain: LGBT Protections For Immigrants Is Like Taxpayer-Funded 'Free Abortions'
Jan. 30, 2013
Center for Arizona Policy
2010 Questions for Congressional Candidates
Position Sought: United States Senate
Question 5: Amending the United States Constitution to define marriage as between only one man and one woman.
Candidates' Position: Support.
Question 8: Protecting healthcare workers from being required to perform procedures that violate their moral or religious beliefs.*
Candidates' Position: Support.
Question 10: Adding “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression” to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in discrimination law.
Candidates' Position: Oppose.
Question 14: Repealing the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which states that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and declares states do not have to recognize same-sex marriage from other states.
Candidates' Position: Oppose.
Discriminatory "Religious Freedom" laws.
Sen. John McCain Has Tense Exchange With LGBT Reporters After DADT Vote
Sep. 22, 2010
McCain Tells Ellen DeGeneres: You Shouldn’t Have The Right To Get Married
May 22, 2008

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