McCain reverses position on DADT

Thu. January 6, 2011 1:32 PM by News Staff

Washington, DC - Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who vehemently opposed the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, now says he will act "to make it work."

McCain tells The Hill that he had made peace with the legislation passed during the lame-duck session.

"I think I have to do everything I can to make sure that the impact on the morale, retention, recruitment and battle effectiveness of the military is minimized as much as possible," McCain said Thursday on Fox Business. "It is a law and I have to do whatever I can to help the men and women who are serving, particularly in combat, cope with this new situation. I will do everything I can to make it work."

McCain has changed his position on DADT, which bans openly gay men and women from serving in the military, a number of times. In 2006, McCain said he would support ending the ban once the military's top brass told him they agreed with the repeal. That day arrived last year when Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen supported President Obama's announcement to seek a congressional repeal of the policy.

Mullen called repealing the policy, "the right thing."

McCain went on to become one of the most outspoken adversaries to the repeal of DADT. He was responsible for initially blocking the bill on the Senate floor. McCain's tone has seemed to soften.

President Obama signed the repeal of DADT,at the end of the year. The repeal will eventually go into effect once top military leaders certify that the armed forces are ready.