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Cindy McCain Knocks 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Ban on Gays in Military

4 years ago
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Cindy McCain is appearing in a new video ad sharply critical of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays -- the very law her husband, Sen. John McCain, is battling to keep on the books.

"Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] youth that they have no future," McCain says in the ad, which also features celebrities and rock stars. "They can't serve our country openly." Later in the video, referring to bullies, she adds, "Our government treats the LGBT community like second-class citizens -- why shouldn't they?"

Related: Supreme Court Leaves 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in Place During Challenges

On Capitol Hill, Sen. McCain, a former Navy flier who was held in a North Vietnamese prison for 5½ years, is in the middle of a fight to defeat Senate legislation that would repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces. The House has already passed a repeal bill and President Obama has vowed to do away with the Clinton-era policy.

The new ad, produced by the California-based organization NOH8, is part of a campaign against the bullying of gay teenagers, begun after several highly publicized suicides by tormented young gay people.

Watch video of ad below.

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Wow, Cindy, is this a sign of dissension in the McCain household? Laura Bush and what's her name Cheney waited until their husband's were out of the political arena before they expressed their own opinions on this subject. I guess their husbands have the power in those marriages.

December 20 2010 at 6:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Wow. This was extremely well done. Although I can't relate to some of the messengers, their participation in this ad gives me great respect for each of them. Brava to Mrs. McCain for being so brave and eloquent. It actually brought tears to my eyes. Well done, all!

November 14 2010 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mrs. McCain may be smarter than her husband. (This is not an unusual situation.) It may also be that she is much younger than he (about 17 years difference in age) and the refusal to realize that we need to lose the prejudice against the LGBT community and others who are "different.": I'm white, heterosexual and older than Mrs. McCain but I have news for those who are holding on to their fear of the other. Get over it. The "other", whether it is race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender identity is the future.

November 13 2010 at 5:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I was a teenager before I realized I had been fighting prejudice my entire life. Having been adopted as an infant, I was raised in the most wonderful home by the greatest parents imaginable. The problem was that they were white, and I have a darker, Hispanic skin color. Once my eyes were opened when a father refused to let me date his daughter because he feared we may become serious and he didn't want any "Mexicans" in his family, I came to understand that no ethnicity wanted me. White, blacks, and others who were predispositioned towards prejudice were certainly not a welcoming group, and not even the Hispanic community appreciated me because clearly I was not one of them because of the absence of an accent, heritage, culture, etc. Fortunately, I was raised a Christian, and I believe wholeheartedly that personally I have neither the ability or the authority to place judgment on anyone for their actions, or in this case, their lifestyles. However, even with my background, coupled with the fact that although I am straight I have had good friends who were gay, I struggle with the entire concept. I am called by my faith to disapprove of the gay lifestyle, and this is what I have always accepted unconditionally. I don't mean to hide behind scripture, but it clearly says that gays and lesbians are not in God's will. What I need to say boils down to this: I have never known anyone else so completely ostracized by hate and prejudice as I have been. Still, I have to be true to my faith, or accept the label of "hypocrite". Having lived a life full of stares, disdain, and other disturbing reception from all corners, I am still unable to approve of the gay or lesbian lifestyle. The "good news" is that I am not empowered by that same faith and the cumulative life experiences to render judgment on another. This also would be hypocritical because we all have something about ourselves that others could find fault with, whether real or imagined. And we all have things in our lives that God will not remember fondly when we get to meet Him face to face. Therefore my final stance is one of confusion. I am not able to respect the gay or community, but willingly confess to the seemingly hypocritical history of having good friendships with people I cannot fully accept. The one thing I HAVE to do is honor my faith, and I will, but not without conflict. Hopefully I have been able to convey a true representation of people of faith who believe in accountability for all our actions. Thankfully we are not perfect, and this means that we can all have our differences and live a harmonious existence.

November 13 2010 at 12:38 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Sam's comment

Sam, I too am Christian. However, I have to wonder, do you look at people who have lust in their heart with the same judgement? What about people who lie, are adulterers, steal, cheat on their taxes...there are so many things in the Bible that we choose to just let slide when we know other people who have committed these sins. I hate it when "Christians" pull out the sins of others to this case homosexuality. We are all poor miserable sinners, and we shouldn't pick and choose which sins we want to condemn. There is no place in the Bible that says one sin is greater than another. It's best we condemn the sin not the sinner. Most of all, if we ourselves aren't Christian examples, how can you be a help to anyone?

November 13 2010 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Kristine; I must have erred in explaining myself. I also wanted to say that we can "condemn the sin not the sinner". My point is that I find myself exceptionally conflicted on a personal basis because as a victim of prejudice, I still have a hard time seeing past the sinner to the sin alone. This is an ongoing issue that I have not been able to resolve. I understand the potential hypocritical implications , but on a purely PERSONAL level, not projecting this attitude on anyone but myself, I have never been able to segregate sin and sinner. Your point of not throwing the first stone is parallel to my earlier point that I do not pretend to have the ability or authority to judge. Hence, the conflict.

November 13 2010 at 10:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

At least she's thinking on her own now, and not her husband's handlers who placed microphones in her face and fed her with negative comments. As a military retiree, I applaud your position.

November 12 2010 at 11:29 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone remember how the blacks were treated fifty years ago. They were supposed to be okay with "separate but equal" status. How did that work for everyone? And what did that say about our supposedly "free" country?

November 12 2010 at 11:25 PM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply

This all reminds me of past US history but it was another group of people that first were not allowed to serve, even if it was for their own freedom. Then they could serve but only within their own group. Didn't dare let them serve with others even though they were as good if not better than other groups. Now, after all these years, they are free to serve together with everyone else. I am sure by now you know who I am talking about. In fact it could probably be applied to several groups through out history. But we survived and moved on. Like the past, it will be hard for some to take new changes but in time they will.

November 12 2010 at 11:18 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dantdon4's comment

Yeah Yeah Yeah we know who you are talking about. Now they get housing projects built for them and in just a year or two the new place looks like a dump. A lot of them are on welfare, because they are too lazy to work. yeah we know who you are talking about and we see what they do.

November 14 2010 at 1:23 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Has DADT been around so long that nobody really remembers that it is a (semi-) pro-gay policy?? It was the compromise reached under Clinton, because the conservatives would not pass a law allowing gays to serve openly. If it is abolished, without a new policy being passed, we go back to the way it was. Whe you attempt to enlist, you can be asked if you are gay. Your choice is to lie or to be denied admission to the military. And when in the armed forces, if you are asked, you can lie or be dishonorably discharged. So instead of wasting our energies dissing this law and trying to repeal it, let's give it a little credit for the interim step forward that it was. And, now that we are more mature and less bigoted as a country (I hope!), use that energy to craft and pass a new policy that allows gays to serve openly.

November 12 2010 at 11:17 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

Cindy---You stand up for what you believe in! And it seems as though one of those things is the right to privacy in one's bedroom, to the right for people to love whom they love---and to marry the "object of their affection." We're not talking about children here---We're talking about adults who want to serve their country; people who are highly educated and bring important skills (like translation of difficult foreign languages, for instance)to help in the defense of our nation. And when they're discharged after their term of service (honorably, I assume) they should be entitled to the rights that the rest of we Americans have. How does the gay couple "next door" in your lily-white suburb affect the "sanctity" of YOUR marriage? And why shouldn't their children (mostly adopted)get to go to school with the kids in their neighborhood? Or play basketball, football, soccer, or baseball with the kids on their street, or spend an afternoon at home with their friends listening to music and studying, just as we did when we were kids? Gay people are NOT pedophiles!Almost ALL pedophiles are "straight", and most gays are NOT sexual predators! They want nothing more than to live in a peaceful, safe neighborhood, like you and I; for their kids to go to neighborhood schools, to be members of the PTA, attend parent-teacher conferences, and of course, all the school plays of which their kids are a part. I have too many gay friends to "stand idly by". I felt compelled to comment on this article, and I applaud Cindy McCain's courage! Now, if only should could convince her husband that gays are real honest-to-goodness people, who bleed when cut, laugh when life is joyful, and unfortunately, cry when life hurts. Please! Let's all make an effort to stop the hatred, bigotry, and misplaced fear behind the craziness of "sexual politics". Gay, straight, transexual---we all are made in God's image, and were put on this earth to make something (hopefully good!) of our lives!

November 12 2010 at 10:42 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply

As a Marine Corps Veteran I could care less if the person in the fox hole next to me in the heat of battle is gay or straight, as long as they do their job without distractions! I've seen my share of straights screwing up just as often as a point is simple - who cares! Keep the "Don't ask Dont' Tell" in place, bring back the draft! Had half of these politicians today served in the military they'd have a better understanding of this subject!!! I certainly support Senator John McCain in keeping it, and his wife Cindy is certainly entitled to her own opinion and view point...after all, this is still America, isn't it? Thank God Obama hasn't screwed that up yet!

November 12 2010 at 10:28 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
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