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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 7, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 36
John McCain's Senate seat - from bad to worse
Section One
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John McCain's Senate seat - from bad to worse

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

John McCain may have been a lovely man, but he was no friend of the LGBT community. His appointed successor, however, is even worse.

McCain died August 25 after a long battle with brain cancer. On September 5, Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona appointed former Sen. Jon Kyl to fill McCain's Senate seat. Kyl represented Arizona in the US Senate from 1995 until he retired in 2013.

McCain was in the Senate from 1987 until his death last month. During the course of his career there, he managed to vote for almost all the anti-LGBT measures before that body.

o In 1993, he opposed Bill Clinton's initiative to remove the ban on Gay and Lesbian armed services members.

o In 1996, he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

o In 2006, McCain was a vocal supporter of an Arizona state constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriage.

o And in 2010, he opposed repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

McCain's dismal record was relieved only by his opposition to the federal marriage amendment in 2004 and 2006, and his vote in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in 2013.

Sad to say, Kyl's record of hostility to the LGBT community lacks even that saving grace.

In 1996, Kyl also voted for DOMA. Six years later, he voted not to add sexual orientation to the federal definition of hate crimes. In 2004 and 2006, he also voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

His votes on reproductive choice are not any better.

In 2008, he voted that fetuses, so-called 'unborn children,' should be eligible for CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program. He also voted to prohibit federal Health and Human Services grants from going to organizations that perform abortions.

Kyl voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, in part because they required health insurance providers to cover contraceptive care.

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