Gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans on
Thursday criticized former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, who is on
President Barack Obama's short list of candidates to succeed Leon
Panetta as secretary of defense.
In a full page ad in The New York
Times, the group panned Hagel as a possible nominee.
“Chuck Hagel: Wrong on gay rights,
wrong on Iran, wrong on Israel,” the ad states. “Tell President
Obama that Chuck Hagel is wrong for Defense Secretary. Help us
create a stronger and more inclusive Republican Party.”
Hagel has come under fire for comments
he made in 1998 opposing James Hormel's nomination as U.S. ambassador
to Luxembourg, saying he was a bad fit because he's “openly,
Hagel apologized for the comments last
“My comments 14 years ago in 1998
were insensitive,” Hagel said in a statement. “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.”
Log Cabin Republicans strongly lobbied
for repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”
The nation's leading group representing
LGBT troops, OutServe-SLDN, accepted Hagel's apology.
“We are pleased that Senator Hagel
recognized the importance of retracting his previous statements about
Ambassador Hormel and affirming his commitment to 'Don't Ask, Don't
Tell' repeal and LGBT military families. We look forward to learning
more about his commitment to full LGBT military equality as this
nomination and confirmation process unfolds,” Allyson Robinson, the
group's executive director, said in a statement.