The evidence keeps coming in about John McCain’s attitudes about gays. And guess what? It confirms what we already know about this good man from Arizona: he harbors exactly the attitude toward gays we would want from our friends, family, colleagues, employers and leaders. He treats us as individuals and does not define us by our sexuality.
Yesterday, when checking my e-mail upon returning home from celebrating the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah and running various errands, I discovered a myriad of e-mails from readers and other friends about McCain’s interview with the Washington Blade, “the first known time a Republican presidential nominee has agreed to an interview with a gay publication.”
He cites his friendship with former Congressman Jim Kolbe and former Tempe, Arizona Mayor Neil Giuliano as shaping his views on gay issues. He calls 9/11 hero Mark Bingham a “role model.”
Asked whether he would decline to appoint someone because of his sexual orientation, McCain replied, “I have always hired the most qualified and competent people â€” regardless of their political party, race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.”
While he currently opposes repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, he indicated he would consider changing his position based on what military commanders say:
I promise to give full consideration to any legislation that reaches my desk. On “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I’m going to defer to our military commanders. So far they have told me it’s working. I’m willing to have the policy reviewed to make sure that’s the case, but at the end of the day, I’m going to rely on the commanders who will be impacted by a change in the law.
He supports the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and offers a responsible view of sex education:
I have supported including abstinence as a component of sex-education programs. Decisions regarding programs targeted specifically at gay youth should be made based on a review of the scientific data to determine what works and what doesn’t, but they must encourage responsible individual behavior.
When asked about his position on gay adoption where he has been widely misrepresented in the gay (and sometimes even mainstream media), he points out that adopion “isn’t an issue the president deals with. I’m a federalist, and this is an issue reserved to the states in our system of government.”
Indeed, this is not the only issue relating to gays where John McCain takes a strong federalist stand, yielding such decisions to the states where they belong.
Whatever you do, be you supporter of John McCain or opponent, read this interview and you’ll see that gay people have nothing to fear from a McCain-Palin Administration.
Even as we learn of John McCain’s tolerance, don’t expect the gay organizations to cut him any slack. As Glenn Reynolds observed yesterday, Sarah Palin “and John McCain get so little credit from the gay community for what have actually been quite progressive attitudes.”
Glenn, it’s all because of that pesky little (R) after their names.