In commemoration of the recent death of Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, the neighborhood of Hillcrest in San Diego, California, has flown its Pride flag at half-mast. The McCain Pride flag has generated mixed feelings among queer communities about observing the war veteran’s death and holding him accountable for his anti-LGBTQ policies.
Throughout his political career, McCain opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the 1996 U.S. military ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers.
He also opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions but publicly said we didn’t need a constitutional amendment banning them. In 1996 he voted against a law for nationwide LGBT discrimination protections. In November 2013 he voted for the same law, though it didn’t pass.
The senator and one-time presidential candidate threw his weight behind Arizona’s (unsuccessful) 2006 ban against marriage equality and California’s (successful) ban known as Proposition 8. He opposed his home state’s “religious freedom” bill that would’ve allowed discrimination based on conservative Christian beliefs.
While considered a “maverick” by many, McCain and the Republican National Committee unleashed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on the world when he announced her as his running mate in the 2008 campaign. She is awful.
Benjamin Nicholls, executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association — who says he’s in charge of “raising the Pride Flag and following national and local policies” — told SDGLN, “It is currently my plan to put the flag at half-staff today and have it fly at half-staff until Saturday. The presidential (and mayoral) proclamation was too late in the day yesterday [Monday] for us to put it up.”