The nation's top federal gay lobbying group says in a report today that John McCain is anti-gay and that despite pretenses to moderation and toleration, he is just as dangerous for gays as George W. Bush.

Human Rights Campaign VP David Smith sums up the case: "Similar to Bush, Sen. John McCain opposes equal benefits for same-sex couples; opposes the Employment Non Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination against GLBT Americans in the workplace; opposes expanding the hate crimes act to include sexual orientation, and supports the military's discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy."

The report notes that McCain opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment but, in that same year, he supported an Arizona measure prohibiting gays from forming civil unions and getting married.



McCain certainly doesn't need the gay vote to win, but there are plenty of Republicans and independents who won't be comfortable with his positions and may view them as a proxy for his governing style and intentions. (There will be plenty of conservatives who will be comfortable with his positions and the McCain camp hopes these positions are viewed as a proxy for his governing style and intentions!)

For many, McCain's temperament is a better window into his soul than what he says about any given issue, and for this reason, it ought not surprise anyone if his share of the gay vote exceeds George W. Bush's.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.