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Cindy McCain Opposes John McCain Over 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Cindy McCain has delivered a double-barreled rebuke to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and to her husband, one of the policy's leading supporters. She chose as her forum a new anti-bullying video sponsored by a California gay and lesbian rights group.

"Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future. They can't serve our country openly," says Cindy McCain. "Our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens..."

The comments are the first time Ms. McCain has so publicly criticized the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members and exposes a deep divide over the issue of gay rights in one of the country's most prominent conservative families.

Sen. John McCain, a former Republican presidential nominee and decorated Vietnam veteran, has been a spirited supporter of "don't ask, don't tell" and led the effort to block repeal of the policy during a Senate vote in September. McCain's daughter, Meghan, a conservative blogger, has publicly aired her disagreement with her father, tweeting in September, "I am a supporter of LGBT rights and I am against DADT - I fight every day."

An ongoing Pentagon study of potential impacts of lifting the ban on openly gay troops is due to be completed by Dec. 1. But it's unclear how soon the results of that study will be shared with top military brass and members of Congress.

The House has already approved a conditional repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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