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Former Senator Chuck Hagel Apologizes For 14-yr-old Anti-Gay Comment

, U.S. Senator from Nebraska.

, U.S. Senator from Nebraska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the possibility of former Senator Chuck Hagel replacing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta looms, comments that Hagel made back in 1998 have come ack to haunt him. Fourteen years ago, Hagel attacked the nomination of James Hormel to the position of ambassador to Luxembourg because he believed that Hormel was “openly, agressively gay.”

Hagel has now apologized stating
“My comments 14 years ago in 1998 were insensitive. They do not reflect my views or the totality of my public record, and I apologize to Ambassador Hormel and any LGBT Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights. I am fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to LGBT military families.”

The Human Rights Campaign has accepted the apology and stated “Senator Hagel’s apology and his statement of support for LGBT equality is appreciated and shows just how far as a country we have come when a conservative former Senator from Nebraska can have a change of heart on LGBT issues. Our community continues to add allies to our ranks and we’re proud that Senator Hagel is one of them.”

OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson, an Army veteran, stated “We are pleased that Senator Hagel recognized the importance of retracting his previous statement about Ambassador Hormel and affirming his commitment to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal and LGBT military families. We look forward to learning more about his commitment to full LGBT military equality as this nomination and confirmation process unfolds.”

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One Response to Former Senator Chuck Hagel Apologizes For 14-yr-old Anti-Gay Comment

  1. a islander

    December 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Dear Sen. Hagel:

    I’d like to believe your apology is sincere, but given it’s timing, one has to admit it is suspect.

    Perhaps a pertinent question would be to ask you how strong an advocate you will be for equal benefits for same sex spouses of our military? Are you wiling to commit to make that your top priority if you are confirmed as Secretary of Defense?