Former ambassador to Luxembourg James Hormel spoke out today about former Senator Chuck Hagel's apology for remarks he made when Hormel was being considered for his position in 1998. Hagel had said that the fact that Hormel was "aggressively gay" would inhibit his ability to function as a U.S. ambassador.
Today, Hagel apologized in an attempt to preserve his viability as a nominee for Secretary of Defense, saying, “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.”
Writes the WaPo's Greg Sargent:
...in an interview this afternoon, the target of the 1998 slur, leading gay philanthropist James Hormel, told me he never received an apology from Hagel himself, questioned the sincerity of the apology, and said the incident should still raise questions about whether Hagel is the right man to oversee the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell.
“I have not received an apology,” Hormel, who is a major figure in Democratic politics, told me. “I thought this so-called apology, which I haven’t received, but which was made public, had the air of being a defensive move on his part.” Hormel added that the apology appeared to have been given “only in service of his attempt to get the nomination.”...
...Of Hagel’s comment, Hormel added: “If it were made today, it would be clearly disqualifying.”
Added Hormel on Facebook:
"Senator Hagel's apology is significant--I can't remember a time when a potential presidential nominee apologized for anything. While the timing appears self-serving, the words themselves are unequivocal--they are a clear apology. Since 1998, fourteen years have passed, and public attitudes have shifted--perhaps Senator Hagel has progressed with the times, too. His action affords new stature to the LGBT constituency, whose members still are treated as second class citizens in innumerable ways. Senator Hagel stated in his remarks that he was willing to support open military service and LGBT military families. If that is a commitment to treat LGBT service members and their families like everybody else, I would support his nomination."
"It's the end of the world as we know it, and the gang is going out with a bang. Cal (Kit Williamson) and Thom (Van Hansis) clash over an autobiographical short story Thom has published about their relationship while Jeremy (Matthew McKelligon) sets his hopes on a relationship and Kathy (Constance Wu) pushes her boyfriend Ian (John Halbach) define theirs."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
If you missed the first episode, check it out HERE.
Just in from Wisconsin, via the AP:
Wisconsin's domestic partnership registry is constitutional, a state appeals court ruled in a decision released Friday that marks a major victory for the state's largest gay rights group.
The 4th District Court of Appeals' opinion concluded that voters didn't intend to prohibit the creation of the registry when they amended the Wisconsin Constitution to ban gay marriage, adding that domestic partnerships carry substantially fewer rights and obligations than married couples enjoy.
SEASON'S READINGS: Mike Diamond and Greg Scarnici wish you a happy holiday.
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY: Actually, it's Fifty Shades of Takei.
TO THE WONDER: Terrence Malick's forthcoming film.
GUYS ON GIRLS: The guys of Lena Dunham's Girls talk about what's coming up for their characters, including lots of new relationships and the snorting of B12 vitamins.
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
NYT obit: Spencer Cox, AIDS activist, dies at 44.
Wicked witch revealed in new Oz poster.
Tammy Lynn Michaels spinning 'poetry' about how she hasn't received her $23,000 Christmas check from Melissa Etheridge yet.
Taiwan sends gay marriage case to high court: "A Taiwanese court on Thursday shrank away from ruling on a gay couple's wish to have their marriage registered, saying it would pass on the controversial case to the island's top judicial body. The case has been widely described as a potential 'milestone' for gay rights because it could lead to Asia's first legal same-sex marriage."
Game of Thrones beer is on the way.
CDC: HIV cases increase for gay men, decline for Black women. "Between 2008 and 2010, the number of newly infected black women dropped 21 percent, according to the CDC report. Yet despite the decline, they still accounted for 70 percent of all new HIV cases among women, the federal health agency said. The rate of new infections for black women was 20 times higher than the rate for white women, the CDC said. The number of new infections among young gay and bisexual men increased by 22 percent during that same two-year period, the CDC said."
Signorile: The top political moments of 2012.
Ian McKellen: 'Coming out as gay was the best thing I ever did."
New crew members set to arrive at International Space Station today: "Set to arrive at the space station at 9:12 a.m. EST (1412 GMT), the capsule will deliver Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield — who will become the station's first Canadian commander — as well as Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn. The spaceflyers' journey started yesterday (Dec. 19) when they launched from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome at 7:12 a.m. EST (1212 GMT)."
Should you ever rush a gunman?
Rebel Wilson hosting MTV Movie Awards.
Can pink and poison save the rhino? "Materials are not exactly injected but rather, as the Rhino Rescue Project says, "infused into the horn using a patented high-pressure device." No more detail is given about how that works. But the device uses a dye which turns the horn brightly and irrevocably pink, kind of like the dye used in ink packs to secure money at a bank. That makes it useless as a prize or ornament, and even if the horn is ground to a fine powder, it'll still show up in an airport security scanner."
Character posters for The Great Gatsby.
Chris Christie talks gun control: "I think we need to have a large, national discussion ... and gun control has to be part of it, too," Christie said, adding that New Jersey has the second toughest gun laws in the nation. "But anyone who thinks fixing any one of those things solves the problem is kidding themselves. I believe it's a continuum of all those things."
Steve Jobs's yacht repossessed by Phillippe Starck.
Ke$ha clears up her "Die Young" controversy: "After such a tragic event I was feeling a lot of emotion and sadness when I said I was forced to sing some of the lyrics to Die Young. Forced is not the right word. I did have some concerns about the phrase "die young" in the chorus when we were writing the lyrics especially because so many of my fans are young and that's one reason why I wrote so many versions of this song. But the point of the song is the importance of living every day to the fullest and staying young at heart, and these are things I truly believe."
Iconic West Village gay bar Julius has just been named eligible for State and National Historic registers, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation reports:
Based upon research and a request made by GVSHP, the New York State Historic Preservation Office has determined Julius’ Bar at 159 West 10th Street/188 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places (read GVSHP’s nomination HERE, and the State’s finding HERE). The oldest gay bar in New York, Julius’ was also the site of a groundbreaking gay civil rights action in 1966 which resulted in the end of New York State’s prohibition on serving alcohol to anyone known to be gay. The “sip-in,” in which several members of a gay civil rights organization known as the Mattachine Society went to the bar identifying themselves as ‘homosexuals’ and asked to be served a drink, was based upon the “sit-ins” being staged at segregated lunch counters throughout the South, and was one of the first recorded instances of civil disobedience against anti-gay discrimination. At the time, the New York Times covered the incident referring to the protesters as “sexual deviates.”
The State and National Registers of Historic Places are the official record of the places most important to our state and nation's history, as defined by New York State and Federal government. Currently, only two places in the entire country are listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places for their connection to the gay civil rights movement — the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village (site of 1969’s Stonewall Riots and considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, co-nominated by GVSHP in 1999) and the Washington D.C. home of Frank Kameny, the co-founder of the Mattachine Society.