During his first State of the Union address on Jan. 27, President Obama said he will push for overturning the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. But his former rival John McCain criticized the proposal.
Obama called for abolishing the 1993 "don’t ask, don’t tell" law, saying that "this year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are."
The president’s words echoed his campaign promises from 2008, although he came under criticism from gay rights groups during his first year in office for not pushing the issue. In fact, many were not satisfied with last night’s reference, either, as Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said that "the next time the president speaks about our community, we expect him to provide a concrete blueprint."
On the other end of the opinion spectrum, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he believed the law should remain in place.
"At a time when our armed forces are fighting and sacrificing on the battlefield, now is not the time to abandon the policy," he told reporters after the speech.