Group arrested outside McCain's office for protesting military policyPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX - A group was arrested outside Senator John McCain's office in Phoenix while protesting the senator's support for the Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy, which excludes gays from serving in the military.
By the evening, they were already back outside protesting again.
Petty Officer Allen Howard-Stidham hadn't worn his coast guard uniform since he was kicked out for being gay three years ago.
"I wasn’t allowed to serve not because I’m not qualified, not because I don’t do well, but because I’m gay," he said.
Allen had requested a meeting with Senator McCain last week, but after getting no-response, he and his friends from around the Phoenix-metro showed up this morning.
"We came down with hopes of talking to the senator," Meg Sneed said.
"He at least needs to address Allen and others who were forcibly removed from the military," Lee Walters said.
But the group told the senator's staff they weren't leaving until they got to speak with him.
They were denied, and after a four hour sit-in, police arrive and arrested the protesters for trespassing and took them away.
A few hours later they were back outside McCain's office and unapologetic about their arrests.
The group accuses Senator McCain of going back on his word.
In 2006, McCain had this to say about repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
"The day military leadership says we need to change the policy, we need to consider changing it," McCain said.
Most military leaders now support a repeal, but McCain says Don't Ask Don’t Tell works.
Their frustration is directed toward the right, and the left since President Obama could suspend the policy on his own.
The five arrested have court dates in May to answer their trespassing charges.
They've also been told not to go back inside this building for a year.