This article was found at logcabinrepublican.org and in turn had previously been lifted out of the Washington Blade, a gay publication. This is for people who have some notion that McCain - as Madonna would have you believe - deserves to be equated to dictatorial tyrants.
McCain’s gay Q&A‘I hope gay and lesbian Americans will give full consideration to supporting me’By WILLIAM R. KAPFER Oct 1, 1:06 PM
Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told the Blade in an exclusive written interview this week that he appreciates the Log Cabin Republicans’ decision to endorse him, and he hopes “gay and lesbian Americans will give full consideration to supporting me.”
McCain’s decision to answer questions submitted to him in writing marks the first known time a Republican presidential nominee has agreed to an interview with a gay publication.
McCain reiterated his long-held position that he would leave it up to military leaders to decide whether the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law should be retained or repealed. But he suggested that he would support a “review” of the policy.
Washington Blade: What personal experiences or friendships in your life have shaped how you view gay issues?
Republican presidential nominee John McCain reiterated his support for California’s Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage there, but indicated he is open to a review of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. (Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP)
John McCain: I have known former Congressman Jim Kolbe for 25 years. We first ran for Congress in Arizona the same year — in 1982. We served together starting in 1985. He’s a great American who spent two decades serving his country in Congress. Like me, he also served in Vietnam so we have a special kinship. When he came out in 1996, there was no question that I would stand by him. He’s a friend and a patriot and has been an admirable public servant, and a good example of why someone’s sexuality should not be relevant in public life.
I have also known former Tempe Mayor [Neil] Giuliano for many years. He headed Mayors for McCain in our 2000 campaign. I stood by him when there was an effort to recall him in 2001, led by people who objected to him being an openly gay public official. He was a hard-working public servant and someone I have great respect for.
Blade: Do you have any role models who are openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?
McCain: I had the humbling experience of speaking at Mark Bingham’s funeral after the attacks on Sept. 11. Mark had supported me during the 2000 campaign. Unfortunately, I barely knew him, but our country learned about him after 9-11. He was one of the heroes on 9-11 who tried to retake control of United Flight 93. His efforts along with the other brave patriots could have saved hundreds of lives. I honor and respect Mark. Memories of his sacrifice and the other victims from 9-11 motivate me everyday to make sure we keep our nation safe from the terrorists who want to attack our way of life because freedom is a threat to their message of hate.
Here’s what I said during his eulogy:
I love my country, and I take pride in serving her. But I cannot say that I love her more or as well as Mark Bingham did, or the other heroes on United Flight 93 who gave their lives to prevent our enemies from inflicting an even greater injury on our country. It has been my fate to witness great courage and sacrifice for America's sake, but none greater than the selfless sacrifice of Mark Bingham and those good men who grasped the gravity of the moment, understood the threat, and decided to fight back at the cost of their lives. (The full eulogy is available at tampabaycoalition.com/files/0921McCainPR.htm)
Blade: Would you decline to nominate a qualified Supreme Court justice, cabinet member or other appointed position just because the person is openly gay?
McCain: I have always hired the most qualified and competent people — regardless of their political party, race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
Blade: Would you decline to nominate a qualified Supreme Court justice or cabinet member who had a history of anti-gay rulings?
McCain: I will nominate judges who interpret the Constitution, not judges who legislate from the bench. Legislators pass laws; judges interpret them. Unfortunately, too many judges have become confused [about] their role.
Blade: President Bush has been praised for his AIDS relief efforts in Africa, but many domestic AIDS service providers say the U.S. focus on the epidemic abroad ignores growing infection rates here at home. How would your AIDS policies differ from President Bush? And would you put a greater focus on the domestic problem?
McCain: I’m proud to have supported President Bush’s efforts to address the international AIDS crisis. History will remember him for the PEPFAR program, which has saved millions of lives. We’ve made progress on the domestic front too, but not enough. I am committed to supporting the development of a National AIDS Strategy. Countries receiving PEPFAR aid are required to develop a national plan; but we don’t have one in our country.
It’s important to settle on a national strategy — with input from state, local and federal government officials; along with the private sector, doctors, drug companies and AIDS advocates. Let’s roll up our sleeves and put together a National AIDS Strategy for more effectively addressing the domestic challenges.
Recent CDC statistics show that gay men continue to be strongly impacted by the disease, and the disease is disproportionately affecting people of color. Our prevention and treatment efforts must be improved to address these challenges.
Blade: Would you resume the practice started by President Clinton but discontinued by President Bush of creating a high-level White House staff position serving as liaison to the GLBT community?
McCain: I have already publicly stated that there will be no White House Office of Political Affairs in my administration — professional politics should be at the party committees, where it has a rightful place, not in the White House. I intend to be a President for all Americans. This discussion is somewhat premature given that I have not been elected (yet).
Blade: Important gay rights legislation unrelated to marriage has been stalled in Congress for some time. You have a reputation for having challenged your party in the past. Would you work with Congress to pass or deal with any of the following: ENDA, the hate crimes bill, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?”
McCain: 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.
Blade: What is your advice to gay rights activists as to what they should pursue and realistically expect to pass in 2009 with regard to the issues listed above?
McCain: My advice to all Americans is that it is time we came together to work in a bipartisan fashion to find real solutions to the challenges facing our country. I will be the President for all Americans — and will challenge every American to work with me to put our country first.
Blade: Would a McCain administration be willing to meet with and work with gay leaders to discuss matters of interest to the gay community?
McCain: I have met with leaders of Log Cabin Republicans in my campaigns. I am always willing to listen to all viewpoints and that will continue if I become President.
Blade: What is your reaction to the news that Log Cabin Republicans endorsed your campaign and will the Log Cabin Republicans be welcome in the White House if you're elected?
McCain: I appreciate Log Cabin’s support. I’ve had a friendly relationship with the organization for almost 15 years. We don’t agree on every issue, but I respect their commitment to the GOP and I thank them for their support. Our party needs to focus on what unites us and I appreciate Log Cabin’s effort to make the GOP more inclusive. I have always been willing to discuss the important issues of the day with Log Cabin members and that will continue if I am elected. This is going to be a close election and we need support from every American.
I hope gay and lesbian Americans will give full consideration to supporting me. The stakes are high in this election. I will have an inclusive administration and I will be a president for all Americans.
Blade: What are your views regarding the Defense of Marriage Act? Do you think DOMA devalues the relationships of gay citizens?
McCain: As a Republican, I am a strong advocate for federalism. States should be able to decide as many issues as possible. That’s certainly the case on the definition of marriage. My home state of Arizona shouldn’t be compelled to recognize a marriage from California or Massachusetts. Those states can decide that issue by themselves.
However, at the same time, my own view is that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman. That’s what I supported in Arizona. I realize this is a controversial issue and we must conduct this debate in a way that respects the dignity of every person.
Blade: What is your view of attempts to pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage? Do you think repeal of all of DOMA would prompt Congress to strongly consider and possibly pass a constitutional ban on gay marriage?
McCain: I voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006. I continue to oppose such an amendment today, because as I’ve explained this should be a state matter, and not one for the federal government — as long as no state is forced to adopt some other state’s standard.
Blade: Regarding adoption by same-sex couples, you have been quoted as saying you don’t believe it’s appropriate. Can you elaborate?
McCain: I hope my comments are not misinterpreted. I respect the hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian people who are doing their best to raise the children they have adopted. As someone who adopted a child, Cindy and I know better than most couples the amazing satisfaction that comes from providing love to an unwanted child. I believe a child is best raised by a mother and father because of the unique contributions that they make together to the development of a child.
At the end of the day, this 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.
Blade: What is your position on California's Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage there?
McCain: 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.
Blade: Do you foresee a day when the federal government will recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships performed by states?
McCain: I honestly don’t know.
Blade: How would a McCain administration approach abstinence-until-marriage sex education initiatives? What is your view regarding programs that provide safe-sex messages specific to gay youth?
McCain: 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.
Blade: When asked last year whether condoms help stop the spread of HIV, you were uncertain. Are you confident that condoms do help stop the spread of HIV?
Of course they help, but we can’t remove responsibility from the equation. Condoms aren’t fail-proof. People must behave responsibly and make wise decisions. Government can help with prevention strategies, but all people must choose to take responsibility for their own health.
Blade: Will you support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act if elected president?
McCain: Gay and lesbian people should not face discrimination in the workplace. I’ve always practiced that in my hiring. I select the best people, regardless of their sexual orientation. I support the concept of non-discrimination in hiring for gay and lesbian people.
However, we need to make sure legislation doesn’t lead to a flood of frivolous lawsuits or infringe on religious institutions. What I can say now is I will give careful consideration to any legislation that reaches my desk, and confer with Congress before making decisions.
Blade: Del Martin died on Aug. 27. She and Phyllis Lyon, her partner of 55 years, got married in the first legal gay union in California in June —affording Phyllis many of the basic protections and rights granted to married couples, such as hospital visitation and estate planning issues. Do you envision a time when all GLBT citizens will have similar basic rights? During your administration?
McCain: I respect that Del and Phyllis spent a lifetime together. As I stated earlier, however, I believe that issues regarding marriage and family laws are best decided by the states and not the federal government.
Blade: What are your thoughts on the Matthew Shepard Act?
McCain: I have voted against the proposal several times. Let me make it clear that no one should face violence because of who they are. It’s un-American and morally repugnant. People who commit any violent crime should face tough penalties. However, I am not convinced that this is properly a federal issue, or that criminal sentences for terrible crimes should be longer because of the views of the perpetrator or the identity of the victim.
Blade: How would you handle institutions such as the Boy Scouts and Salvation Army, which have been known to engage in discrimination against gays, to underscore your message?
McCain: I don’t believe that’s an issue for the President to deal with. I supported the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dale case. The Boy Scouts are an important institution in our society and they should decide this issue on their own.
Editor’s note: John McCain’s presidential campaign this week agreed to respond in writing to these questions, which were drafted by William R. Kapfer, co-president of Window Media, the Blade’s parent company, and Blade staff and submitted to the campaign by Kapfer.
So basically, yes, McCain is against the term "gay marriage." That's all he said. He didn't say he was against giving GLBT individuals equal rights. In fact, he said it was not for the President to decide - which is true. It isn't. I have no problem inventing a new word called "garriage" to describe a gay marriage. BFD. Do you really want a wedding? I don't. If liberals can agree to write off their own failures and shortcomings in the guise of a president who will tell them it's not their fault, and then marginalize the hard work and excellence of the top tier of society who earned their keep, insinuate it's a game of chance as to who lands in which income bracket, take their money and give it to people who never bothered making enough money to pay their taxes anyways, which in my opinion is a much more heinous violation of individual rights than the gay marriage issue, you should be able to accept that it's up to each state to decide what their policy will be. News Flash: Obama doesn't support "gay marriage" either.
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