James Hormel Speaks Out About Chuck Hagel’s Apology

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.”

HormelWrites 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."

Comments

  1. Icebloo says

    Hagel has in integrity. He is not suitable for such a prestigious role. He is only apologizing now to save his own career aspirations.

    We don’t need self absorbed, uneducated, bigoted and dishonest “men” like him in government positions.

  2. daftpunkydavid says

    i believe in giving people a second chance (even when it’s expedient for them to do so).

    these comments were apparently made 14 or so years ago. i know many democrats in the senate or in the house who voted for “don’t ask, don’t tell” and for the so-called defense of marriage act. today, many of them have changed their minds and are now pro-equality and pro-liberty. and that’s a good thing.

    we should encourage people to change their views; we should not hold them to the opinions they had when they were clearly ignorant of what being lgbt means.

    besides, barack’s got my back, so i’m good.

  3. Bob says

    If Hagel meets with Hormel, and satisfies Hormel’s questions, I would say “OK, the world has changed a lot in these 14 years”.
    If he won’t meet Hormel, Obama should dump him.
    If we kept all the same enemies we had in 1988, we would be in trouble.

  4. says

    Sorry, as a community we should NOT allow this man to be allowed in the position of Secretary of Defense. Not for one moment. 14 years ago he set out to destroy the career of a well respected highly capable openly gay man. Today to save his sorry tush he is back-tracking. Doesn’t work that way. He should NOT be allowed to be considered for SOD whatsoever.

  5. Not an Apology says

    That is not an apology. His remarks were MORE than insensitive. They were wrong, bigoted, and morally indefensible. He should not be considered for a position in ANY administration.

  6. niles says

    Hormel’s statements make no sense. First, he says that he does not accept Hagel’s apology. Then on Facebook he states that he will. Doubletalk.

  7. RICK says

    Apology accepted but no on the nom for Sec of Defense. Hagel’s employment history should stand as such thus he should be rejected. Hormel should be deeply ashamed.

  8. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    Without contacting Hormel directly, Hagel’s apology seems self-serving and only a ploy to get the nomination. If Hagel were willing to contact Hormel directly (in person, via telephone, via email, etc), that would be different. When we apologize to someone and the apology is sincere, we always contact the person directly. It would look a lot more convincing if Hagel did that.

  9. Francis says

    I was thinking the same thing, Niles.

    How I see it………Hagel needs to reach out to Hormel, and needs to directly reach out to LGBT organizations and make it abundantly clear where he stands. Until he does that I’m not cool with him being nominated.

  10. Eric says

    Releasing an “apology” to the press, not matter how well worded it is, without even contacting the object of the insult, is not making an apology— it’s public relations.

  11. John says

    I wish Obama would stop nominating Republicans for the sake of appearing “bipartisan.” It’s very transparent, and the Republicans don’t even appreciate the gesture so it’s not even helping in build a coalition.

    As for Hagel, beyond his “aggressively gay” comment, he voted FOR the Iraq War and FOR the PATRIOT Act (though Obama has extended that so I suppose he’s just as guilty). That’s not really someone I’d trust as head of the Defense Department. Even though Hagel is now against the Iraq War, his vote then shows that he isn’t capable of making the right decision when it matters the most.

  12. jleo71 says

    The fact remains that he has never considered apologizing to James Hormel until now and even now it was not an apology to Mr. Hormel.

  13. Diogenes Arktos says

    Just a reminder, Mr DADT DOMA appointed Hormel. When the Senate wouldn’t confirm him, Clinton made a legal end-run by making a recess appointment.

  14. Yupp says

    Enough of this subject. As if the gay community hasn’t hurt innocent people and either gave insincere apologies or….never apologized for it at all. I don’t like Hagel, but…don’t be a bunch of hypocrites.

  15. says

    Why should gay people constantly be the ones giving people a second chance in terms of BLATANT homophobia? Why…it happens ALL the time, and EVERY single time…LGBT people are told to “be the bigger person and move on”…That right there in itself, that flippant approach and demanding LGBT be just as flippant is what exasporates homophobia.

    I’m all for forgiveness…but only when someone has shown a sincere apology for what they have done. Hagel hasn’t.

  16. Eric says

    @yupp

    Two wrongs don’t make a right- even if your argument wasn’t a classic attempt at misdirection. Hagel may be considered for the job, but, last I heard, the gay community was not a potential candidate.

  17. Scott Johanesen says

    Sorry. It’s about 2013. MILLIONS of people out there who haven’t made such ignorant and hateful commentary in their past. There’s people qualified for this position who were decent human beings most of their lives, and can represent people, their welfare and society in a far more qualified manner. This Hagel man is not one of them.

    @ Yupp
    You’re commentary is always one where you either play devil’s advocate on here, defend the phobes, or throw LGBT under the bus. And people can do a quick search of your handle to see that. Your agenda is showing dear…be a little more subtle on the next site.

  18. Yellow Mellow says

    Nope. Not a sincere apology. And gay people have been hurt enough to not have to settle for Reagen era politicians in 2013. Those were brutal times for our community, and progress means just that…moving forward with individuals who are genuinely progressive and humanitarian. Not ones who fake it for a salary.

  19. andrew says

    It looks like the U.S. may have an outstanding foreign policy team. Pres Obama, Sec of State Kerry and Sec of Defense Hagel. They are all like minded individuals in regard to the U.S. foreign policy and use of our military forces. They all believe in multi-lateralism and that the use of military forces should be the last resort. They are the exact opposite of the mostly “chicken hawk” neo-cons who believe in U.S. unilateralism and see the military option as at the top of the list of options. How fortunate that Mr Obama will have those two outstanding wounded warriors as his chief foreign and military policies advisors.

  20. Yupp says

    Scott : Have no agenda except for making people take responsibility for what they did. No matter which group it is. Especially when it involved deliberate cruelty…uh…”dear.”

  21. Steve-ATL says

    He tried to get a gay man fired STRICTLY because the man was gay. He went on a witch hunt against that gay man in a very public campaign. He taunted, ridiculed, and attacked the character of that gay man STRICTLY because that man was gay. That didn’t happen in the 1950s, or even 80s…that was 14 years ago. He never apologized to that gay man, or even reached out to him.

    We’re gay. That doesn’t mean we need to play dumb folks.

  22. says

    His voting record on gay rights speaks for itself: about as anti gay as one can get. Across the board. On all LGBT related issues. Who cares about your ‘press release’ apology. You’re a bigot. Own it and let us move on to picking a more suitable candidate.

  23. Duration & Convexity says

    @ Yupp
    You’re a troll on here with severe issues with gays, and it’s so amusing for many of us to observe. We can see how miserable the progress we’re making in society is making you. It’s making your kind burst at the seams. You make all sorts of irrational rants all due to your frustrations over how rapidly gay rights are moving forward. Get used to it. This is just the start, and we’re damn proud of that. Buckle up!

  24. Klien says

    He won’t be appointed. LGBT have contributed far too much in society to settle for bigots being in such prominent positions. No longer will we as a community be held back while all other demographics are treated with rights & respect and demand so. No longer will LGBT be told to be complacent toward homophobia. No longer will LGBT sit on the sidelines. We have a voice, and it will be heard loudly and clearly.

  25. Yupp says

    Screw you, Duration. You know nothing about my private life or about what I’ve done for same-sex equality. Actually, WAY more than you to get progress with same-sex marriage going. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to let a percentage of gays purposely hurt innocent people (and animals) and then try to hide from it. So YOU better get used to THAT.

  26. Yupp says

    AND, Duration, you better get used to the fact that it’s the young WHITE middle class who is most on the side of same-sex rights, no matter how much you tried to link us with every other “minority.”

  27. A&50 says

    Apology? As a gay man, I’m completely numb to these PR orchestrated apologies. Completely over it, and more over, I’m observing a brave new sector of LGBT who instead of carelessly accepting all apologies directed at us (for the benefit of the person apologizing) we’re now asking
    *Why did you say it in the first place?
    *Where do you stand today?
    *And what is your track record on our issues and rights?

    No more of accepting apologies for face value. LGBT today are demanding an investigation of the person and their true intentions about our community. Enough of taking these apologies and kicking rocks. I want to know if YOU know what it is you’re apologizing for.

  28. A&50 says

    Yupp: get on your meds. You missed your last round. And it’s a scary society when people like you aren’t monitored on taking your pills.

  29. Yupp says

    A : “Get on your pills” is old, not funny, and makes fun of people who have psych /chemical problems, jerk.

  30. says

    @ YUPP

    You’re doing the classic anti gay move of changing the conversation of a given topic, and putting the target back on gays. Even in a story where the clear target is on a heterosexual who displayed homophobia. Posters like you who have anti-gay sentiments of your own will crawl in a post like this, spin & turn the story to somehow mention an irrelevant topic not related to the current story in an attempt to paint gays as the bad guys.

    All while overlooking the homophobia of the heterosexual at hand. The few posters like you have that tactic down to an art. The rest of us have been on here long enough to recognize it. Don’t act like a victim when your own tactics are called out to you.

  31. Lipstick Lez says

    I’ve long suspected Yupp (and UFFDA) were trolls. Atleast with this thread, I can now confirm the troll status of one.
    I agree with the medication reminder above. Get on that, Yupsters and be better at trolling. You’re too obvious. It’s no fun.

  32. Yupp says

    USC : Then you can just track my posts on Towleroad to see if I’m really anti-gay or not, or just against a certain type of vicious ghetto-gay. (Check out my posts on the Pope while you’re at it). But, I understand, you have to try to pigeon-hole me as a homophobe to discredit everything else I’m stating too.

  33. Yupp says

    Oh, and USC, I might educate both gays and straights about Alan Turing, Hans Christian Anderson, and Mark Bingham quite regularly, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to accept modern gays on Towleroad giving out the contact info. of young girls falsely-accused of hate crimes so posters (grown men) can send them threats about putting razor blades to their vaginas. Do you think what Towleroad did there was acceptible ? Every group must police their own.

  34. andrew says

    This out and proud gay man and veteran hopes that President Obama will ignore the PC purists and appoint the highly qualified Chuck Hagel as Sec of Defense. Did he insult gay people 14 years ago in trying to block Hormel from becoming an ambassador? Yep! But that was then and this is now. Only those who have done no harm or said no hateful things in their past should cast a stone at the highly qualified wounded warrior Chuck Hagel.

  35. Tom C. says

    I hope LGBT organizations continue putting pressure on our President to ensure bigots like Hagel are never nominated. There’s no room for homophobia in modern society.

    So proud of our community and taking a stance. It took us a while, but we grew a pair, and those of us who are self respecting and not apologist know that we don’t HAVE to settle for homophobes, or claimed ‘former’ homophobes. There’s enough gay friendly individuals out there and those are who are worthy of my support.

  36. dynex says

    The man who was on the receiving end of Hagel’s hateful comments is the one who is in charge of either accepting the apology or not. If he doesn’t, then I won’t either. Hormel was the one painfully affected by Hagel’s homophobic campaign. And that he didn’t get reached out to, a personal apology, or even acknowledged by Hagel during all these years tell me that I will not be giving any benefit of the doubt to Hagel, and neither should other gay groups (and they haven’t). You’re only worthy of forgiveness when your *actions* showcase remorse. Not your publicist.

  37. J says

    Andrew-
    You’re not really qualified to comment on here considering you have stated you love using gay slurs and homophobic language in front of heterosexual friends. YOU are the last person any dignified gay person would listen to. Keep rimming that hetero behind while you use rancid terms like “that’s so gay” flippantly. And then try to convince gays that phrases like that are appropriate. Sell out bastard.

  38. Cortz says

    I trust Homer. He is the one who had those words directed at him. Hagel and his 14 year old apology can shove it. You don’t try to deny basic human rights (a job) to a fellow citizen because of their sexuality, then publically go after them, and then never reach out to them yourself ….and all of a sudden, when journalists bring your past up, do you apologize- not to the an you homophobically attacked, but the journalists. What an insincere clown.

  39. steven lucas says

    Hagel comes across as one of these men who is keen to get that promotion but has these ugly statements in his past that he has never really regretted. Why he is even under consideration is beyond me.

  40. Den says

    An apology is only worth something if it is personal, genuinely voluntary and sincerely meant with no aim of gaining anything from it. That doesn’t apply in this case. If Hagel wasn’t going for any new post and had apologised purely because he wished to, then it might have resonance. That it is tied up with the desire for a political position makes the apology nothing more than an opportunistic part of the campaign.

  41. says

    I call BULLSH*T! I’m a former Nebraskan, and all too damned familiar with this pestilence. Nagel was, is, and – barring a miracle – will always be a bigot, a misogynist, and a closet racist. This scripted, so-called “apology” falls right in line with what I know to be Chuck Nagel’s character – a man who is owned, lock, stock, and barrel by the corporatocracy, a man who will say nothing that does not fall in line with the desires of his corporate puppetmasters, a man who will say and do anything he thinks his audience wishes to hear in order to fulfill his ambitions and line his pockets. Nagel is one of the wealthiest politicians to come out of the Cornhusker state, and it is a wealth he garnered by being a tool for the corporate elite – NOT by serving his constituency. Go back and look at his voting record if you doubt me, you will find nothing there that is completely out-of-line with the worst of the Tea-baggers today.
    In short – put this man in any administration post and you will see the worst of the Blackwater offenses become commonplace, the continuation of the repeal of DADT will be short-circuited at every opportunity, and you can take that “fully supportive of LGBT military families” and shove it straight back in the crapper it came from.
    Chuck Hagel was a blight and an embarrassment for Nebraska – he will do no better for this nation and her military.

  42. says

    Too little,too late! We all make mistakes, but the time to correct them is not when they are self-serving. I hope Hagel is not the next Czar of the Defense Department. The only politician who apologized and was believable was Barry Goldwater. He was Mr. Conservative, yet after he retired he changed his views on many of issues… and did so publicly and admitted he was wrong. Ironically, Mr. Goldwater’s views today would be considered mainstream. Let’s see how Mr. Hagel acts, if he is not picked to lead the Defense Department. As of now… I believe he is a hypocrite. I’m waiting for him to apologize to the whole GLBT community, not just Ambassador Hormel.

  43. says

    Apologies for the spelling faux pas, everyone. Hagel is a boil on the butt of humanity, and I missed the H key trying to get the crease out of my cast-iron panties.

  44. David Jarrett says

    In 14 years, many can change their mind and realize their former position or attitude was incorrect. This is particularly true during the last decade, when gays like myself have become very out. I personally know of several formally homophobic diplomats who COMPLETELY changed their view on gays after they realized that a close associate or friend or acquaintance was gay. On person in particular, became more than pro gay and even tried to fix me up with a handsome guy, introducing me to him at a private get-together at his flat.

  45. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Yupp,

    First, concerning the story about the teenage girls who tried to push a lesbian girl off a cliff to her death: the authorities have charged them with attempted murder and they are being held on $25,000 bond. So what do you do? You get on a gay site and rant about how these criminals are being maligned by gay men. Tell you what, asswipe, you need to take your rant to Free Republic, where you belong.

    Second, how backstabbing of you to refuse to give Hispanics (most of whom are non-white Mexican-Americans) any credit for helping gay rights progress, claiming that only white deserve credit for progress. If you weren’t so ignorant and racist, you’d know that Hispanics support marriage equality and gay rights by a substantially larger percentage than whites. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Any recently published opinion poll will point you in the right direction. Google is your friend here, so learn how to use it. After you do that, find your way back to Free Republic. Certainly you have some anti-Hispanic, anti-immigration rant to contribute. Your pals at Free Republic miss you. Buh-bye.

  46. Yupp says

    Artie : I actually do know, that in NYC anyway, Hispanics/Latinos in some polls have shown themselves a few points higher, yes, than whites in supporting same-sex marriage. Secondly, you better read how the rest of that case with the girls in Kentucky turned out. Do you think I’d be callling for apology if those girls had actually been guilty?? What if it was your own sister grown men here went after like that (asswipe?)

  47. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Yupp,

    It occurs to me that when you irrationally claim that only whites deserve credit for gay rights progress (in spite of an even greater level of support from Hispanics), you’re simply mimicking your mommy and daddy and their hatred of the largely mixed-race population of Mexican-Americans. Did it ever occur to you that your mommy and daddy don’t like you either? And yes, I’m white, you asswipe, so don’t try and pull that card on me. Just get yourself a map of the Internet and find your way home to Free Republic… sometime really soon.

  48. Yupp says

    And, there you go folks, showing the nature of the gay ghetto . Even AFTER the truth of that case came out (that the girls were friends of the lesbian, whose mother lied about the whole case), Artie pretends that last chapter never happened, and that those girls deserved having grown men email them with threats of mutilation to their genitals. For the still-sane young guys coming onto Towleroad: not ALL men-who-like-men are like that, but…beware…there’s a large percentage of vicious characters out there.

  49. Yupp says

    I’m a grown man and couldn”t care less if mommmy and daddy don’t like me. And my lovers have been from mestizos to all-Caucasian South Americans, so don’t even try to educate me on Spanish-America.

  50. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Yupp,

    Since this thread is about Hagel and Hormel, and the story about the teens in Kentucky is so WILDLY off-topic, I didn’t notice that the post about Kentucky was from 2010. You win the point about the story from Kentucky, but what kind of grudge do you have to bring up a two-year-old story? Why does it upset you that people have the nerve to criticize Hagel, even though they just want to know if he’s still a bigot? Sounds like a reasonable concern to me.

    Did I say you win the point about the story from Kentucky? You sure don’t win any points for stabbing loyal Hispanic allies in the back by saying that only whites deserve credit for gay rights progress. I suppose you mean to diss non-white Mexicans who are one of the most pro-gay demographics in the country, perhaps tied with American Jews. I’m sure they would thank you… for nothing.

  51. Yupp says

    I apologize to Hispanics, but I don’t think they’d care if I left them out because of the point I was making. They’re not that childish. My point was about black support (or non-support) for same-sex rights, and the fact that Towle and Belonsky have joined with homophobic black hate groups as long as they were going after mutually-hated targets (like half-Jewish Reid Seligmann in the Duke lacrosse case).

  52. Yupp says

    I don’t give a f–k about Hagel, but listening to gays criticize him is like hearing Stalin criticizing Hitler for human rights abuse.

  53. Yupp says

    And, Artie, you are so sickly entrenched by now in the gay ghetto that if somebody said John Wayne Gacy really belonged in prison you’d scream, “You belong with the New Republic !!!!” So you are not even thinking, you are just gay-reacting.

  54. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    Only a few short years ago, your criticism of American blacks was accurate. I’ve always thought of Andy Towle as fair-minded, and I don’t know if he and Belonsky were cynical about not criticizing homophobia in the black community. But if you mean gay bloggers in general, I would point you to Aravosis and other gay commenters on AmericBlog who were never the least bit shy about calling American blacks on homophobia.

    My modest proposal is that you assess the country as of today, rather than several years ago. Black support for marriage equality and gay rights in general is now (finally, at long last) at about the same percentage as white support. The world moves on, which is fine with me.

  55. Yupp says

    Artie : Belonsky refuses to even mention if there’s an African-American gaybashing in NYC. Every other gay blog will grudgingly mention it, Belonsky will ignore it like it never happened. Now, that’s pathetic but…still, I’ll understand if some blogers still want to pretend they’re college students and that all minorities are linked together as allies against…whoever. It’s when they actually make the effort to try to hurt innocent people, to try to make those beliefs a reality, that it’s unacceptable.

  56. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    Yupp, the reference to Free Republic was out of exasperation with the anti-immigration, anti-Mexican rants that are all too common on the Internet. I’m glad to know you’re not an anti-immigration partisan. The “Free Republic” comment was also a reference to the Kentucky story, which of course, happened during the past week, and as a result, the girls are still out on bond. (AFTER ALL, Yupp, that was the link you provided me with.) But surprise! It didn’t happen during the past week; it happened two years ago! You’ll forgive me for being caught by surprise.

  57. Yupp says

    Artie : At least you actually looked at the link and tried to discuss it, I’ll grant you that. Most gays just want to hide from all responsiblity in GayGhettoLand and say “Take your meds” or something they think is witty, ignoring very real (innocent) people (even allies) out there who suffer at the hands of what certain gay activists do.

  58. andrew says

    @J/Little Kiwi: You don’t know s*it about me. I am and have been for decades an out and proud gay man. I am very much involved in the gay community and volunteer at an LGBT Community Center. I don’t need a homo fascist like you telling me that I am not worthy to comment on LGBT topics. You are the kind of mean spirited intollerant authoritarian demagogue who drives people away from supporting our cause. So F*CK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. andrew says

    @Yupp: I don’t agree with much of what you post, but anyone who sticks it to the devious homo fascist Little Kiwi and all his aliases can’t be all bad! I am glad you realize that much of your debate has been with Little Kiwi and his many hateful and hurtful aliases.

  60. James says

    I support Chuck Hagel and hope he is nominated to be Secretary of Defense. Hagel is a decorated combat veteran who supports military cuts and a less aggressive foreign policy, which would be a relief over what we have seen over the last 4 years. I really don’t care what he said over a decade ago about an ambassador. And I could care less about his HRC rating as senator.

  61. James says

    I support Chuck Hagel and hope he is nominated to be Secretary of Defense. Hagel is a decorated combat veteran who supports military cuts and a less aggressive foreign policy, which would be a relief over what we have seen over the last 4 years. I really don’t care what he said over a decade ago about an ambassador. And I could care less about his HRC rating as a senator.

  62. Larry McD says

    Hormel is the heir of one of the uglier industrial families in the country. I’ll worry about whether he deserves an apology when he apologizes for his family’s destruction of meat packing unions and their continuing exploitation of illegals in the industry. Before Hormel busted the unions, the average wage was in the area of $25 per hour. After they finished, the wage is federal minimum for horrendously ugly work.

  63. CortelDonx says

    I just read some of Hagel’s comments and even for 1998 they were severe and ignorant. Reading his commentary on gays was actually horrible. His words were heavy, powerful and hate laced.

  64. Donald Yebet says

    In 2001, Hagel said he’s proud of DADT passing and having done his part to help it pass years earlier. He later stated that gays shouldn’t be freely allowed to sate they are gay in an institution like the military because it’s not a social experiment, and if they don’t like it, they should stay out of it.

    These comments were made in the NY Times, and years after the 1998 anti gay crusade he was on.

    He’s changed or he’s in need of a bigger paycheck?

  65. andrew says

    Chuck Hagel will make an excellent Sec of Defense. He is a wounded Vietnam war veteran who believes that U.S. military intervention in foreign countries should be the last resort. For this reason the “chicken hawk” neocons are running ads trying to block his nomination. As to his earlier positions on LGBT issues, that was then and this is now. In the last two decades many people have made the journey from opposition to full equality for LGBT people to supporting equality. Remember it was Pres Clinton who signed DADT and DOMA. He is now a supporter of full equality for Gay people. President Obama took quite some time to evolve on his position on same sex marriage, now he is a strong supporter of it. Hagel says he now supports “open service” and equal treatment for LGBT people in the military. I believe we should forgive Hagel for his past opposition to gays. I also believe that we should not forget, We should watch his performance as Sec of Defense and make sure he is following through on his new support for LGBT equality,

  66. phil says

    Sorry, but how dare comments tell others to keep quit and accept what we’re get’n – cause it better than we had.

    I was raised north east of New Orleans. I heard this for the first 22 years of my life. Not again.