Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel on
Friday apologized for anti-gay remarks he made in the late 1990s.
Hagel's potential nomination to succeed
Leon Panetta as secretary of defense has come under fire for comments
he made in 1998 for opposing James Hormel's nomination as U.S.
ambassador to Luxembourg, saying he was a bad fit because he's
“openly, aggressively gay.”
groups criticize nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense.)
“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.”
Allyson Robinson, executive director of
OutServe-SLDN, which supports LGBT service members and their
families, applauded Hagel's comments.
“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,” she said in a