John McCain has responded to a list of LGBT-related questions submitted by the Washington Blade. In his responses, McCain speaks fondly of such noted gay figures as former Rep. Jim Kolby (R-AZ), lesbian activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, and Mark Bingham, at whose funeral McCain spoke.
Unfortunately, the submitted questions do not mention McCain chief of staff Mark Buse, but McCain says this about potentially naming an openly gay person to the Supreme Court or other prominent positions: “I have always hired the most qualified and competent people — regardless of their political party, race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.”
On whether he’d appoint a SCOTUS judge with a history of anti-gay rulings: “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.”
Below are some of his other responses on critical gay issues. There are no surprises.
DADT: “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.”
ADOPTION: “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.”
Log Cabin Republicans: “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.”
DOMA: “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.”
Federal Marriage Amendment: “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.”
Proposition 8: “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.”
ENDA: “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.”
Matthew Shepard Act: “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.”
Read the entirety of the Washington Blade’s interview.