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You Are Here: Home » Featured, LGBT News Domestic & U.S. Politics » SLAP IN THE FACE – Obama To Nominate Anti-Gay GOP Chuck Hagel As Defense Secretary Today

Obama and hagel

Democratic sources have told  Politico that President Obama will hold a news conference today to formally nominate former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as the next Defense Secretary despite objections by many LGBT advocates because of Hagel’s past comments on Iran, Israel and gay people.

In June 1999, President Bill Clinton named Jim Hormel Ambassador to  Luxembourg. But Hormel’s selection caused a firestorm. The first openly gay person to be  appointed to an ambassadorship, Hormel was (and remains to this day) a major  benefactor of gay causes, ranging from pro-marriage equality campaigns to an  organization providing care to gay seniors. Senate Republicans tried to block  Hormel solely because of his sexual orientation.

One of the more vocal senators to oppose the Hormel nomination was  then-Nebraska Republican Chuck  Hagel.

“They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards,” he told the  Omaha World Herald in 1998. “And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel — to do an effective job.”

Also over the course of his 12-year career as a Republican Senator, Hagel racked up a virtually  0% voting record on LGBT issues (his only positive vote being for AIDS funding to Africa,  not necessarily even a gay issue) and he was a vociferous supporter of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the military’s erstwhile gay  ban.

Earlier this month, when Hagel’s past anti-gay views came to light, Hagel issued a an apology for his remarks about Hormel, saying that his comments were “insensitive” and insisting that he now supports open service.  Interviewed by the Washington Post, Hormel said that he had received no personal  message from Hagel, and that the former senator’s “so-called apology . . . had  the air of being a defensive move on his part only in service of his  attempt to get the nomination.” and many agree with him.  Except for President Obama that is who came to Hagel’s defense and said that  Hagel’s apology shows a “positive change,”  and “evolution”

While it’is true that people’s views about social issues do change if indeed Hagel’s real attitudes have progressed,  there is no evidence of it to indicate it.  Hagel had 14 years in which  to express contrition — publicly or privately show it. Instead his”magical evolutionary moment” came directly after his nomination and his anti-gay attitudes came to light.

As for President Obama, our “fierce advocate”  this is the second time in a matter of weeks that he has shown blatant disregard for the LGBT Community.  Earlier this week Obama signed the funding authorization bill for the Department of Defense which includes “protections” against the punishment of military members and clergy who harass gay soldiers.

And while the Human Rights Campaign and Gay Inc. continue resist using pressure on the Democratic Party and President Obama,because they don’t want to come off as “pushy”  and “ungrateful” since his election Obama has continued to insist that marriage is a “state issue”,  has REFUSED to enact ENDA protections for LGBT Federal contractor Workers through executive order (Which has Presidential precedent.  Johnson did the same in 1963 for black Americans as a pre-cursor to the 1964 Civil Rights Act).  And Obama has not DIRECTLY challenged DOMA or ENDA and effectively used the Presidential bully pulpit.  And now on top of everything President Obama is nominating A KNOWN ANTI-GAY BIGOT to be Secretary of Defense.  And we are suppossed to be alright with it.

And what of the Human Rights Campaign “America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality” think of Chuck Hagel’s nomination.

“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“  – HRC  President Chad Griffin

Sickening.   Just sickening.

 

 

About the author

Will Kohler has written 6658 articles on this blog.

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

7 Comments

  1. Ron Bockman says:

    Anti-Gay is the best you can say about him.

  2. Jerry Greene says:

    Boy, somebodies real hot to get his ass pleasured in a fox hole fighting in Iran if the Israel lobby wins and gets some fucking war monger in there who will say “Lets go to war” next time there’s a false flag operation – isn’t he??? Or is HE too old to get drafted? I’m not….

  3. BosGuy says:

    I am no fan of this man, but I think he is more than qualified to do the job. He will be acting on behalf of Obama’s policies – not on comments he’s made in the past.

    I think it is far more interesting that the Republicans are so outraged. Probably has a lot to do with his support for Bob Kerrey (D) in the November elections.

    • Will Kohler says:

      I am sure that Hagel is the ONLY person in the United States suitale for the job. Besides the fact that he’s anti-gay it worries me that hes a GOP war monger.

      • BosGuy says:

        I never meant to infer he’s the only one qualified; merely that he is qualified and that is the bar that nominations need to meet or exceed.

        This is Obama’s administration and whatever Hagel’s personal opinions; he’s the President’s representative and will be held accountable as such.

  4. Jason says:

    I see this as Obama picking Hagel despite his anti-gay stance due to his other qualifications. Mainly, Hagel does not bend over backwards like most other U.S. politicians to the whims of Israel — he believes that Israel, while an ally, is like any other ally, and thus they are not free from criticism. This is most likely a big plus for Obama, as he has shown occasional slivers of hope with regard to a rationale Middle East foreign policy that does not cater to Israel’s whims and their subjugation of stateless Palestinians.

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