Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is shaping up to be the U.S. Senate’s leading opponent of repealing the ban preventing gays from serving openly in the U.S. military.
The highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain issued a statement on Wednesday in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address and in defense of the 1993 law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
During his speech, Obama pledged to work this year with Congress and military leaders to repeal the statute.
Here’s McCain’s statement:
“In his State of the Union address, President Obama asked Congress to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. I am immensely proud of, and thankful for, every American who wears the uniform of our country, especially at a time of war, and I believe it would be a mistake to repeal the policy.
“This successful policy has been in effect for over fifteen years, and it is well understood and predominantly supported by our military at all levels. We have the best trained, best equipped, and most professional force in the history of our country, and the men and women in uniform are performing heroically in two wars. At a time when our Armed Forces are fighting and sacrificing on the battlefield, now is not the time to abandon the policy.”