Barney Frank Opposes Hagel as Defense Secretary

Over gay comments, not over defense positions


Outgoing Rep. Barney Frank Monday denounced the idea of former Sen. Chuck Hagel being considered for secretary of defense, arguing the Nebraska conservative has demonstrated a clear pattern of bigotry and and a track record of being "against fairness for LGBT people."

Hagel's 1998 opposition to former President Bill Clinton nominee James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg — when he accused Hormel of being "aggressively gay" — has angered some LGBT groups, although Hagel recently apologized for the remarks.

"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 the statement.