The Upshot

Cindy McCain slams military gay ban as husband fights to uphold it

Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News
The Upshot

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Cindy McCain stars in a dramatic advocacy video that says the government's actions--including those supported by her husband, Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain--encourage anti-gay bullying in schools.

"Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future," she says in the video, which features an ensemble of famous people speaking out against bullying. "They can't serve our country openly."

[Video: Obama tells gay teens 'It Gets Better']

Other speakers chime in, denouncing the ban on gay marriage and gay adoption in some states as also contributing to a climate that leads some gay youth to take their own lives.

Then Cindy McCain asks: "Our government treats the LGBT community like second-class citizens. Why shouldn't [bullies]?"

You can watch the video below:

Sen. John McCain led unanimous Republican opposition to repealing "don't ask, don't tell" in September, arguing that the military needed more time to review the policy. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, say they want Congress to repeal the ban, but all of the service chiefs say they're opposed to repeal.

McCain also snapped at reporters after the vote on repeal was filibustered, saying the military never snoops into a soldier's private life in order to find out if he or she is gay. Some discharged soldiers say their private emails were searched.

[Photos: More moments with Cindy and John McCain]

The video says that there's an "epidemic" of young gay people committing suicide (though there's little evidence to support that claim), and that bullying and government policies contribute to those suicides. Recent stories of bullied teens who died by suicide sparked the "It Gets Better" suicide prevention campaign.

[Video: Surprising moments from 'It Gets Better' campaign]

Cindy McCain and daughter Meghan have both spoken out against California's Proposition 8, which reversed a decision legalizing gay marriage in the state. Sen. McCain remains opposed to gay marriage.

Sen. McCain is now traveling in Afghanistan; his office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Upshot.

(Photo of Cindy McCain posing for the NOH8 anti-Proposition 8 campaign: Adam Bouska of NOH8 via AP)

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