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Weiner reports: "Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has come out against Chuck Hagel's potential nomination as the next secretary of defense, due to the Nebraska senator's past derogatory comments about a gay ambassador."

Retiring congressman Barney Frank. (photo: Susan Walsh/AP)
Retiring congressman Barney Frank. (photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

Barney Frank Opposes Hagel for Defense Secretary

By Rachel Weiner, The Washington Post

01 January 13


ep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has come out against Chuck Hagel's potential nomination as the next secretary of defense, due to the Nebraska senator's past derogatory comments about a gay ambassador.

"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," Frank said in a statement. Moreover, he argued, the "aggressively bigoted opposition" to the ambassador was not "an aberration" but part of a record of voting against gay rights.

In 1998, Hagel opposed the nomination of a gay philanthropist, James Hormel, to be ambassador to Luxembourg, saying that an "openly aggressively gay" diplomat might be ineffective. Under pressure from gay rights groups earlier this month, he said those comments did not reflect his views and apologized for them.

Frank is retiring, and even if he stayed in the House he would have no control over the matter - Cabinet appointees are approved by the Senate. But it's possible that Frank will be chosen as an interim senator to replace Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who is in line to become secretary of state.

Whether or not he's ever in a position to block Hagel's nomination, Frank's comments carry weight - he was the first openly gay member of Congress.

Obama defended Hagel on "Meet the Press" on Sunday, pointing out that the former senator had apologized for his comments.

"I think it's a testimony to what has been a positive change over the last decade in terms of people's attitudes about gays and lesbians serving our country," the president said.

The Log Cabin Republicans, a gay Republican group, has also come out against Hagel. Hormel himself has said that while the timing of Hagel's apology "appears self-serving," the mea culpa itself is "significant." your social media marketing partner


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+13 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-01-01 09:26
Please, folks, let's not be once again MSD'd (manipulated, spun, distracted), this time, again, with sexual concerns.

Time to ask key questions, such as what is Hagel's actual activities/acti ons, vs. speeches/promis es re. need to pursue an end to war, war, war for $$$ into the pockets of the military/indust rial/corp. and terrorism complex's greed and power over all addicted 1%ers. Sorry to say, this Pres.'s (for whom I so worked in '08 to help get elected, and for whom I held my nose as I voted for in '12) has failed us over and over again, with uppage of Bushwhacking takeaway of civil rights, appointments of dreadful appointees endoresed by the villainaire rulers, etc..

Critical thinking is critical !
+6 # readerz 2013-01-01 12:50
I would like Hagel to be fair to all in the military, but for the rest I agree.

There are distractions everywhere, and through it all, while we hear about schools built in foreign lands (with our money), Americans suffer here at home.

Passing homeless in the street with snow on the ground in Ohio is heartbreaking, and we haven't even had the disasters in NYC. My husband grew up in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn: go to gerritsenbeach. net to see what has happened there. The "Robin Hood" fundraising drive hasn't helped them either, and the government hasn't done anything at all, but give lots of promises, and those homes were flooded above the first floor, and most only have one story. Mr. President, don't be distracted from America!
+1 # Harriet3 2013-01-01 11:26
While I agree that attitudes are changing, really doubt that Hagel's apology was sincere. If Barney's agin' him, I'm agin' him. I have a lot of respect for Barney Frank's opinions and a lot more experience with him than with Hagel. He should withdraw himself from consideration. Sooner rather than later.
0 # FDRva 2013-01-03 00:55
Since Barney's Wall Street 'reform' was an obvious sellout to Wall Street...

If Barney opposes Hagel--I support Hagel.

The financial relationships that Rep Frank has forged with Wall Street--I suspect he prefers that we 'Don't Ask' about since he 'Won't Tell.'

Corruption knows know sexual preference.
0 # FDRva 2013-01-03 01:35
Barney Frank lacks moral standing to pass judgment on Hagel or anyone else--as a professional sellout to Wall Street.

Corruption knows no sexual orientation.

After all, 'reforming' Wall Street--to Wall Street's specifications- -like Barney, is a lot more lucrative than whatever politically incorrect acts Sen Hagel is alleged to have committed, in the eyes of Bibi Netanyahu's AIPAC.
+2 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-01-01 11:27
Fortunately Barney Frank's opposition to Senator Hagel is irrelevant -- the Senate, not the House, confirms such nominations.

Unfortunately, Frank is still in a position to continue selling us out to Wall Street and the Too Big To JAIL Banksters.
+1 # RLF 2013-01-03 06:16
You're amazing! You can ignore all of the bad appointments by our current president and get down on Frank! Way to go cheerleader...m ight want to actually use your brain and be suspicious that the O. might be appointing another Blue Dog piece of crap to a vital position. I don't know that much about Hagel's record but I do know that Obama has a record of do nothing (Holder) and right wing/Goldman(Ge ithner) appointees.
0 # FDRva 2013-01-03 00:07
Thanks, Barney.

Which Heterosexual neo-con would you and the 'Dick' Cheney prefer?

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