Why Chuck Hagel’s Gay Problem Is Getting Worse

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/why-chuck-hagels-gay-prob_b_2393894.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) has a problem if his and the White House’s goal is to quell criticism for his anti-gay past. And that problem is only getting worse.

Openly gay outgoing Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slammed Hagel on New Year’s Eve, saying he “strongly opposes” a Hagel nomination for secretary of defense. Other progressive LGBT critics have been speaking out in recent days, as well. Already under relentless attacks for weeks from neocons opposed to Hagel’s views on Israel and Iran and determined to stop President Obama from nominating him to the Defense Department post, Hagel will have only himself to blame if the gay issue helps sink him.

Hagel offered a pathetically weak apology two weeks ago for having opposed the nomination of openly gay James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg when President Clinton nominated him in 1998. At the time he’d called Hormel “openly aggressively gay” and therefore unfit to represent the country abroad, because being gay is “an inhibiting factor.” But all Hagel will say about it now, releasing a statement only after the Human Rights Campaign expressed concern over a possible nomination, is that those remarks were “insensitive.”

Insensitive? Come on, Senator. Surely you can do better than that. And if you can’t, you don’t deserve the job.

Hagel scored a zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Senate scorecard between 2001 and 2006 (which is not that long ago), voting against pro-gay initiatives and for anti-gay ones, and was on record as opposing allowing gays to serve openly in the military (calling it a “social experiment”), let alone representing this country as ambassadors. And yet in his recent apology for the Hormel remarks, he seems surprised that LGBT Americans would question his “commitment to their civil rights,” says he supports open service and claims that the remarks about Hormel don’t represent “the totality of my record.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/why-chuck-hagels-gay-prob_b_2393894.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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