MCCAIN CALLS FOR NEW ‘DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL’ REPORT

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Senator McCain’s call for a new report on the effects of repealing the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) ban on gays and lesbians serving in the US military has been greeted with anger and disbelief.

Speaking on the Meet the Press television news show on Sunday, McCain dismissed the results of a recent study conducted by the Pentagon, which are to be released shortly.

Preliminary results have revealed that seven out of 10 service members would find serving with gay colleagues acceptable. Despite this, McCain denied that the study was sufficient.

“…I wanted a study to determine the effects of the repeal on battle effectiveness and morale. What this study is, is designed to do is, is to find out how the repeal could be implemented. Those are two very different aspects of this issue,” he said.

“And once we get this study “ he added, “we need to have hearings, and we need to examine it, and we need to look at whether it’s the kind of study that we wanted.”

The senator, who had earlier said that he would support the repeal of DADT if it was found to not affect troops negatively, has been accused of hypocrisy and of stonewalling by LGBT groups

“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,” said Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis.

Joe Solmonese, head of HRC, the largest LGBT rights group in the US, commented that “McCain is increasingly alone in his irrational opposition to open service.

“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.”

Earlier, McCain’s wife retracted her previous support for the repeal of DADT. Cindy McCain had appeared in a video for the NoH8 campaign in which she expressed her support for allowing gay and lesbian troops to serve openly.

But on Friday she reversed her position via Twitter. “I fully support the NoH8 campaign and all that it stands for and am proud to be a part of it. But I stand by my husband’s stance on DADT,” she said.

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