Chuck Hagel Once Opposed Nominee Because He Was “Openly Aggressively Gay”
The man who would be Secretary of Defense also supported the ban on open military service for gays and lesbians.
WASHINGTON — Former Sen. Chuck Hagel — a finalist for the post of Secretary of Defense in Obama's second term — once opposed a nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg because he was "openly aggressively gay."
“Ambassadorial posts are sensitive," Hagel told to the Omaha World-Herald in 1998, opposing the nomination of philanthropist James Hormel. "They are representing America," he said. "They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel — to do an effective job."
Some LGBT rights groups are already criticizing the potential selection of Hagel to replaced Leon Panetta.
Hagel was a long-time supporter of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. In 1999, he told The New York Times, ''The U.S. armed forces aren't some social experiment.''