Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R., Neb.) once opposed a nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg because he was “openly aggressively gay,” BuzzFeed reports:
“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.”
Hagel is considered one of the finalists to succeed Sec. Leon Panetta at the Defense Department, though sources have told the Free Beacon that Hagel may no longer be the president’s top choice for the spot, as criticism of his potential nomination mounts.