Barack Obama | Chuck Hagel | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | James Hormel | Military | News

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: 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."

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. 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.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Dec 22, 2012 3:20:17 AM

  2. @ 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!

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Dec 22, 2012 3:24:35 AM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: Klien | Dec 22, 2012 3:26:09 AM

  4. 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.

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 22, 2012 3:27:59 AM

  5. 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."

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 22, 2012 3:29:55 AM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: A&50 | Dec 22, 2012 3:32:19 AM

  7. 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.

    Posted by: A&50 | Dec 22, 2012 3:34:19 AM

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

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 22, 2012 3:35:25 AM

  9. @ 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.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Dec 22, 2012 3:38:32 AM

  10. 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.

    Posted by: Lipstick Lez | Dec 22, 2012 3:39:55 AM

  11. 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.

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 22, 2012 3:42:47 AM

  12. Yeah, sure Lipstick, Kiwi, Betty, Duration, all the other new names suddenly showing up..

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 22, 2012 3:43:47 AM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 22, 2012 3:48:06 AM

  14. Read the posts on this whole subject, and tell me if an apology was not in order:

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 22, 2012 3:50:31 AM

  15. 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.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 22, 2012 5:42:15 AM

  16. 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.

    Posted by: Tom C. | Dec 22, 2012 6:16:52 AM

  17. 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.

    Posted by: dynex | Dec 22, 2012 6:19:31 AM

  18. 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.

    Posted by: J | Dec 22, 2012 6:22:10 AM

  19. 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.

    Posted by: Cortz | Dec 22, 2012 6:24:37 AM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: steven lucas | Dec 22, 2012 7:53:56 AM

  21. 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.

    Posted by: Den | Dec 22, 2012 8:20:59 AM

  22. 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.

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Dec 22, 2012 8:58:27 AM

  23. 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.

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | Dec 22, 2012 9:05:39 AM

  24. 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.

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Dec 22, 2012 9:21:18 AM

  25. 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.

    Posted by: David Jarrett | Dec 22, 2012 10:22:44 AM

  26. « | 1 2 3 »

Post a comment


« «Episode 2 of Gay Web Series 'Eastsiders' is Here: VIDEO« «