Embattled McCain faces down family rebellion over gays in the military

John McCain, the recently re-elected US Senator, army veteran and former presidential runner, appears to have quashed a political mutiny – not in the ranks of the Republican party, but within his own family.

Like his daughter Meghan, his wife Cindy has not always seen eye to eye with the Senator when it comes to gays in the military. But after appearing in a video apparently opposing her husband's view last week, Mrs McCain swiftly tweeted a political update that seemed to reverse her position.

The reasons behind her change of stance are unknown. But in Congress, Senator McCain is threatening to block a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) law which allows gay people to be excluded from the military on the basis of their sexuality.

Mrs McCain's position has long appeared to be different. She and Meghan have lent their support to groups that advocate expanded rights for gays and lesbians.

Most notably, Cindy McCain last week surfaced as one of a number of celebrities appearing a video made by the group NOH8 seeking to raise awareness about the bullying of teenage gays and the recent spike in suicides among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teenagers because of bullying.

"Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future... They can't serve our country openly," she is seen saying in the video. Alluding to the bullies, she later says: "our Government treats the LGBT community like second-class citizens."

But soon afterwards she was offering a different view. At the end of last week, Cindy used her Twitter account to end speculation over a rift with her husband. "I fully support the NOH8 campaign and all it stands for and am proud to be a part of it," she said. "But I stand by my husband's stance on DADT."

Her contribution instantly raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill. Her husband has repeatedly expressed doubt about repealing the policy, a step that has the backing of the Obama administration and of Robert Gates, the Defense Secretary. A measure that would end it and thus allow gays and lesbians to serve openly and without conditions, is attached to a defence bill that Mr McCain is threatening to block.

Still, despite the apparent contradiction, the Senator insisted yesterday that his wife's free speech had not been compromised. "I respect the First Amendment rights of every member of my family," he said, adding that the two simply agreed that a study of the effect of the change on morale was essential.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5/6 Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobWe are looking ...

Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The Job...Due to continued ...

Supply Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Supply TeachersWould you l...

Job opportunities for SEN teachers and support staff in Essex

£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently looking for...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice