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John McCain dies at 81 (update with memorial details)
2018-08-26

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U.S. Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) memorial service will be held at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, Sept. 1, and his burial will follow at the United States Naval Academy the following day.

In addition, McCain will lie in state at the Arizona Capitol on Aug. 29, followed by a memorial service in Phoenix on Aug. 30.

McCain—who was a naval bomber pilot, prisoner of war in Vietnam and presidential candidate—died Aug. 25 at age 81. The cause of his death was brain cancer, and it was publicized Aug. 24 that he was refused any more treatment for the disease.

When he died, McCain was considered a maverick within his own party, as one of the few Republicans willing to criticize President Trump, who had made some controversial comments of his own about McCain. Last September, in a final act of defiance, McCain delivered a thumbs-down gesture on the Senate floor—casting the vote that halted the GOP's effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.

McCain did not always back LGBTQ rights (calling the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" a "sad day"), and he generally received low scores on the Human Rights Campaign's Congressional Scorecard, Advocate.com noted. However, he became more of an ally as his career progressed, doing things such as backing the confirmation of Eric Fanning, the gay man President Obama nominated to be secretary of the Army. McCain also spoke out against Trump's efforts to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement, "Senator McCain was a patriot and a hero, whose life was defined by his service and sacrifice on behalf of our country. While we disagreed on many issues, later in his career, he became an increasingly vocal advocate for LGBTQ service members. ... We join with millions of Americans in mourning his loss, and extend our deepest condolences to Senator McCain's wife, Cindy, and his entire family."

McCain, who was divorced from his first wife, Carol, in 1980, is survived by his wife, Cindy; seven children including Meghan McCain, a co-host on the TV show The View; and his mother, Roberta, age 106. (Cindy and Meghan have become vocal LGBT allies as well.)

Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush are expected to give eulogies at the Sept. 1 event. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend to represent the current administration, as McCain allegedly stated he did not want President Trump (with whom he had a contentious relationship) to be present.

The Advocate's article on McCain's passing is at www.advocate.com/politicians/2018/8/25/john-mccain-veteran-senator-presidential-nominee-dead.


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