WASHINGTON, DC --This morning on NBC's Meet the Press, Senator John McCain ( R-AZ ) took issue with the preliminary findingsleaked to the Washington Post last week-- of the Pentagon survey on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. He also said he does not think repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the 18-year old discriminatory law that bans openly gay and lesbian troops from serving their country, should happen during the lame-duck session of Congress, set to begin tomorrow. The president of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, issued this statement.
"Obviously the senator doesn't like the preliminary findings of the Pentagon's DADT survey, which found a clear majority of U.S. service members are okay serving with their gay and lesbian comrades. The senator has known all along the study developed by the Pentagon Working Group was looking at how to repeal DADTnot whether to do so.
"McCain has said he wanted to hear from the senior military leadership. He heard loud and clear from Secretary Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, last February when both were firmly in support of repeal.
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"McCain has said he wanted to hear from rank-and-file troops. He has just heard loud and clear from them through the survey. But he doesn't like their answer-- and is stonewalling, trying to run out the clock on repeal by calling for congressional hearings.
"The truth is McCain is increasingly alone in his irrational opposition to open service. Sixty-four percent of Republicans disagree with McCain and favor lifting the ban. No matter the evidence, McCain will use whatever tactics at his disposal to not only stop repeal from moving forward, but will hold hostage the most critical military defense bill to do so."
SLDN Responds to Senator McCain's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Comments on Meet the Press
Washington, D.C. - Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( SLDN ) , a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell ( DADT ) , released a statement today in response to comments made by Senator John McCain ( R-Ariz. ) about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal on this morning's edition of Meet the Press.
Statement by Army veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:
"Sen. McCain is clearly out of touch, not only with the American people, but also the Pentagon and our troops. McCain seems to be saying he wants a do-over because he doesn't like the findings and recommendations in the Pentagon report going to Secretary Gates. In other words, McCain is telling the Pentagon: Keep working until you produce the outcome I'm looking for."
PALM CENTER RESPONDS TO SEN. MCCAIN'S "MEET THE PRESS" REMARKS
SANTA BARBARA, CA November 14, 2010 -- Today, the Palm Center released a statement following Senator John McCain's appearance on Meet the Press, where he criticized the upcoming Pentagon Working Group Report on the implementation of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Dr. Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center, stated:
"Senator McCain's latest criticism of the Pentagon study uses the same tactic that anti-gay activists have employed for decades. When the evidence doesn't support the reasons they offer for discrimination, they just turn the data upside down. In this case, the Pentagon report is expected to be 90% supportive of the idea that gays don't harm the military, so the Senator's only option is to pretend that it is 50-50. His views do not reflect the evidence or the facts about gays in the military."
The Palm Center is a think tank at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since 1998, the Center has been a leader in commissioning and disseminating research in the areas of gender, sexuality, and the military. For more information, visit www.palmcenter.ucsb.edu .