NEW YORK, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Log Cabin Republicans took out an ad in Thursday's New York Times saying former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., should not be nominated as secretary of defense.
The group, which represents gay Republicans, cited anti-gay comments Hagel made 14 years ago regarding James Hormel, who was under consideration for a diplomatic post at the time.
Hormel, who is openly gay, was nominated by then-President Bill Clinton to be U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.
The ad cites part of a quote from a 1998 Omaha World Herald interview in which Hagel said: "Ambassadorial posts are sensitive. They are representing America. They are representing our lifestyles, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be -- openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel -- to do a better job."
"Chuck Hagel: Wrong on gay rights. Wrong on Iran. Wrong on Israel." the ad says.
Hagel has come under attack from conservative groups who note his comments as senator regarding a "Jewish lobby" attempting to intimidate U.S. lawmakers on policy toward Israel, as well as from Sen. Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn., who said he would have "serious questions" about Hagel's position on national security issues, the Washington newspaper The Hill said Thursday.
Hagel issued a public apology this month for his comments about Hormel, the newspaper reported.
Hormel told The Washington Post last week Hagel's public apology "had the air of being a defensive move on his part" -- something given "only in service of his attempt to get the nomination."