John McCain Stands Firm Against ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal

The Arizona Republican’s wife and daughter have spoken out against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

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By Nina Mandell
Daily News Staff Writer

His wife may have flip-flopped on the issue this week, but Sen. John McCain is standing firm on his opposition for lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the military any time soon.

McCain said on "Meet the Press" Sunday he supported the issue being studied - more than the recent study that came out saying seven of 10 members of the military supported lifting the ban."

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"... very importantly, we have people like the commandant of the Marine Corps, the three other - all four service chiefs are saying we need a thorough and complete study of the effects - not how to implement a repeal, but the effects on morale and battle effectiveness," he said. "That's what I want."

As for his wife, he said, she was simply entitled to her own opinion and he explained her apparent confusion on where she stood on the issue.

After filming a spot for the video campaign NOH8 where she argued that homosexuals were treated as second class citizens by the government ("They can't serve our country openly" she said in the video), she tweeted support for her husband's position.

"... Which is a complete and thorough study and review of the effect on battle readiness ... " he explained, "... and morale."

When asked if he thought the ban - which was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in September - would be lifted during the lame duck session, McCain said not without more information.

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"I think that we should at least - I, I don't think it should be, because I think once this study comes out in the beginning of December, we should at least have a chance to review it and maybe have hearings on it," he said.

But he said he doesn't speak for his wife - whichever way she leans - or daughter, Meghan, who has been defiant on her opposition of the 'don't ask don't tell' policy.

"I respect the First Amendment rights of every member of my family," he said.

A bill to lift the ban failed in the Senate in late September.