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Chuck Hagel Apologizes For 1998 Comment On Gay Ambassadorial Nominee James Hormel

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Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)
Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) released a statement Friday apologizing for comments he made over a decade ago about a gay ambassadorial nominee.

Hagel, who is under consideration to be nominated as the next secretary of defense, came under fire in recent days for his 1998 comments, in which he called James Hormel, President Bill Clinton's nominee for ambassador to Luxembourg, "openly, aggressively gay."

Hagel's statement, via the Washington Post:

My comments 14 years ago in 1998 were insensitive. 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.

On Thursday, the Human Rights Campaign called Hagel's past comments on gays "unacceptable" and called on him to repudiate them.

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