Pentagon

Barney Frank Opposes Hagel as Defense Secretary

Over gay comments, not over defense positions

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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.