Tags: Getequal | Hagel | defense | gay

Major Gay Group Urges Obama: Don’t Nominate Hagel

Saturday, 05 Jan 2013 10:14 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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GetEQUAL, a major pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender group, Friday urged President Barack Obama not to nominate Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense because of what it sees as his persistent issues with homosexuals.

"Hagel has, time and time again, taken every opportunity to lambast and denigrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans, and the Cabinet is no place for this kind of disrespect," Tanya Domi, who chairs GetEQUAL's board wrote in a statement, the Weekly Standard reports.

Domi called the former Nebraska senator’s recent apology for comments about the 1999 nomination of openly gay James Hormel to be the U.S. Ambassador to Luxemborg “hollow, politically expedient, and nakedly gratuitous.”

She noted the Defense Department has a long way to go while creating an inclusive military, and said Hagel’s nomination would be a “staggering step backward” and an “upheaval of President Obama's past support for the LGBT community.”

Hagel also opposed advancement of civil rights for LGBT Americans, Domi complained, saying the community “is looking for leadership at the Defense Department that will remove discriminatory practices from the Armed Forces — not cement those practices.”

CNN reported Friday that the White House has told senior members of Congress that Hagel, a Republican, is Obama’s choice for the job and his nomination could come as early as next week.

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