campaign granted an interview to the Washington Blade
Wednesday that produced few surprises other than
giving the first glimmer that, although Sen. John
McCain presently supports the military's "don't ask, don't
tell" policy, he would consider having it analyzed.
"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,"
McCain responded in a written statement.
answers were presented by the McCain camp as coming
directly from McCain, the Blade noted that the
interview was conducted as a written exchange, with the
questions being supplied to the campaign in writing
and the campaign responding in kind.
During the course
of the interview, McCain invoked his commitment to
federalism several times, saying that he supported the
Defense of Marriage Act because no state should "be
compelled to recognize a marriage from California or
Massachusetts," that adoption by gays should be left
up to individual states though he believes "a child is
best raised by a mother and father," and noting that he
voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in both
2004 and 2006 because marriage "should be a state
matter, and not one for the federal government -- as
long as no state is forced to adopt some other
also made clear that he supports passage of Proposition
8, which would overturn California's supreme court decision
legalizing marriage. "As I did in my home state of
Arizona, I support the effort in California to define
marriage as the union of a man and a woman. However,
the people of California will ultimately decide this issue,
and I'll of course respect the decision of the
voters," he said. McCain's position on the marriage
ban has been murky until now, with his campaign
signaling at one point that he supported efforts to pass the
ban and then backtracking to say he simply supported
the right of the voters there to decide.
Democrats said the interview simply highlighted that Sen.
Barack Obama is far more progressive on gay issues than
McCain, Log Cabin Republicans president Patrick Sammon
took a different view. "This interview just shows that
we've taken a quantum leap forward in the Republican
Party from four years ago," Sammon told The Advocate.
several points that he said showed movement for McCain: that
he laid out two areas that needed to be addressed for him to
sign an employment nondiscrimination bill -- making
sure the law wouldn't lead to a flood of lawsuits or
infringe on religious institutions; that he called for
the development of a national AIDS strategy to address the
domestic HIV/AIDS crisis; and that he is open to
reviewing "don't ask, don't tell."
Obama has pledged
to sign an employment nondiscrimination bill into law
as president, develop a national AIDS/HIV strategy, and
support repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." (Kerry
Eleveld, The Advocate)