See this reddit thread for Trump supporters.

The indication seems to be that McCain changed his stance on transgender troops in the military just to get back at Trump.

Is this true?

The first story on the left in that picture is here, but here McCain seems to have no actual problems with transgender people in the military, rather his issue is with the lack of communication from the Obama administration, and his desire to have time to properly think over the matter:

Sen. John McCain railed at the Obama administration for its "contempt" of Congress in keeping lawmakers in the dark about its decision to lift a ban on letting transgender troops serve in the military.


"I will be calling up the chiefs of the services, those men and women in uniform who are the heads of the military, and ask them their views, including the cost of implementing, I’m talking about the fiscal costs, of implementing some of these changes, and we’ll be having hearings," he vowed.

So, my question is, is there any other instance where McCain has openly stated his disaproval of transgender people in the military, since I don't believe this particular statement above classifies as such?

  • 3
    The whole point of separation of powers and checks and balances is that power-mongers in congress will snipe at power-mongers in white house, not over real policy differences but over usurpation of each others powers. Whatever McCain's views are is rather irrelevant, since as far as politics is concerned, they are way way secondary to "White House didn't consult with the Congress on the topic".
    – user4012
    Jul 29, 2017 at 19:43
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    Just saying: It would be perfectly fine for a politician to disapprove of transgender people in military, while at the same time realising that this is quite unfair and therefore supporting legislation that allows them to join the military.
    – gnasher729
    Jul 29, 2017 at 20:37
  • 1
    The history of a politicians stance is on topic, internet people's opinion on that history is probably not. The question would be improved in my opinion by removing the introduction.
    – user9389
    Jul 29, 2017 at 22:45
  • If you're asking if a conspiracy theory is true, that likely belongs on skeptics.se Regardless, we can't possibly know what McCain's thought process is.
    – user1530
    Jul 31, 2017 at 6:53
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    I don't see in the quoted passage where McCain states any opposition to transgenders in the military. His ire seems to be with the "keeping lawmakers in the dark," and the unilateral nature of the action. Jul 31, 2017 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


It's doubtful. He might have changed his opinion over time, but if he did it probably wasn't to get back at Trump.

This article from the end of 2013, for instance, notes that McCain was among the 10 Republicans who voted for the transgender ENDA bill. It introduced a number of protections for the LGBT in the workplace. It admittedly says nothing about McCain's stance on LGBT in the military but at the very least one can infer that McCain was defending LGBT rights before Trump was attacking him.

  • 1
    For readers who don't know the details: Was the "transgender ENDA bill" for or against allowing transgender people to be members of the military?
    – gnasher729
    Jul 29, 2017 at 20:39

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