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McCain Wont Seek Gay Opinion on DADT

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John McCain had a lengthy discussion about his position on "don't ask, don't tell" during a meeting with editorial staff of the Arizona Daily Star on April 1, excerpts of which were published in the paper and on its website on April 11.

The editorial board initiated the conversation by asking McCain how he's determined that "don't ask, don't tell" is working effectively:

McCain: I make that determination by retention and recruitment is at an all-time high, the highest in the history of the all-volunteer force. I get that opinion because I visit with the troops all the time. I go to Iraq, I go to Afghanistan, I run into them everywhere. And of course, I don't seek out someone who is gay. Why would I? These are all men and women who are serving. Why should I, that would be nuts. I go up to men and women and say thanks for serving. I say thank you for serving, you are great Americans, God bless you.

The paper later asked McCain if he sees the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" as a civil rights issue:

McCain: No. No. I don't. As Colin Powell said when "don't ask, don't tell" was first inaugurated, there's a difference between sexual preference and the color of one's skin. That was General Powell's statement.

Star: That was years ago.

McCain: He was in favor of it, and now he's come out ... for the repeal. Yeah. I think what he said then still holds true today, that it is a different issue. I think Colin Powell wants to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." I don't think he views it now as a civil rights issue, though.

The full "don't ask, don't tell" portion of the interview can be found here.

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