Posted by: Ken Riter | January 2, 2013

Chuck Hagel Deserves No Support from the LGBT Community!

OMAHA, NE – It has come to my attention that some people believe Chuck Hagel deserves support from the LGBT community.  I say, no way, and I have a plethora of  reasons why.  Most of those reasons are quite obvious, he has been an outspoken opponent to LGBT rights, and he has yet to recant the great supermajority of his anti-LGBT stances from his time as a US Senator from the red, bigoted state of Nebraska. There is a such a long list of information in various recent news articles detailing Hagel’s anti-LGBT stances.  I would seriously question anyone’s LGBT support who urged the LGBT community support anyone with an anti-LGBT record as Chuck Hagel.  Let’s not forget, Hagel scored a zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Senate scorecard between 2001 and 2006, voting against pro-gay initiatives and for anti-gay ones. He also opposed gays serving in the military. How convenient that he claims to support gays in the military now, that DADT is over.

Outgoing and openly gay Congressman, Barney Frank (D-MA) opposes Chuck Hagel as a candidate for Secretary of Defense because of his openly bigoted views and opposition to James Hormel, Bill Clinton pick for Ambassador to Luxemborg.  Here is excerpt from a letter from  Barney Frank’s office as shown in the Huffington Post.

Then-Senator Hagel’s aggressively bigoted opposition to President Clinton’s naming the first openly gay Ambassador in U.S. history was not, as Sen. Hagel now claims, an aberration. He voted consistently against fairness for LGBT people and there does not seem to be any evidence prior to his effort to become Secretary of Defense of any apology or retraction of his attack on James Hormel. And to those of us who admire and respect Mr. Hormel, Sen. Hagel’s description of him as aggressive can only mean that the Senator strongly objected to Hormel’s reasoned, civil advocacy for LGBT people.

I cannot think of any other minority group in the U.S. today where such a negative statement and action made in 1998 would not be an obstacle to a major Presidential appointment.

Even James Hormel, the target of Hagel’s anti-LGBT remarks, questions any sincerity in Hagel’s recent apology. According to that Huffington Post article, Hormel pledged to oppose Hagel’s confirmation as Defense Secretary unless he affirms his support for Equal Rights for LGBT military families. Hormel also questioned the timing of Hagel’s apology and has yet to see an apology sent to him personally.

Chuck Hagel will have to deal with LGBT groups who oppose him as well. Chad Griffin from the Human Rights Campaign pointed out in a statement that Hagel’s consistent anti-LGBT record in the Senate raises serious questions about his stances today.  I agree, and if Hagel has become such a supporter where are his statements?  Where are records of his accomplishments on LGBT issues?  In 1999, Hagel once said of repealing DADT, “the US Armed Forces aren’t some social experiment.”  Not the kind of thing I want to hear from someone who would be in charge of further implementing the DADT repeal. And to my fellow Nebraska Queers, Chuck Hagel supported the dreaded state constitutional amendment that banned all same sex civil unions, domestic partnerships and marriages, the bigoted proposition 416.

Despite the apology, Chuck Hagel’s LGBT problem only grows worse and is well deserved.  Would we tolerate a Senator who accused someone of being “aggressively female” and that being female would hinder someone in a government job?  Hell no we wouldn’t!!!  A similar situation is addressed in this article.  The next Secretary of Defense should care about the LGBT members of the military and should be able to help further implement the DADT repeal. Many Republicans also oppose Hagel for Defense Secretary as well.  But above all else, does Chuck Hagel even have the skills and experience for the job?  According to the Washington Post, he doesn’t.

And why do I bring this up on my blog?  A couple of straight allies who run the FaceBook group United for Equal Rights in Nebraska are claiming Chuck Hagel deserves the support of the LGBT community. Obviously I think otherwise, and there is plenty of information out there to support my case. I can’t even understand why Hagel is still in the mix?  Because he backed Bob Kerrey for US Senate?  Gawd, I hope not!!!


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