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James Hormel: Can a Qualified Gay Male Become a U.S. Ambassador?
 
 
James Hormel
 

Can Citizens Expect Fair Play from Republicans in Todayís Washington? 

A 2-Month Review of Fundamentalist Politics at work on Capital Hill 

 

Compiled by Badpuppyís GayToday 
Based on a Richard Socarides Report
Momentum Is Building For Hormel Nomination
Bipartisan Consensus: Nominee Is Qualified To Serve In Post
At issue here is whether or not we should practice employment discrimination against this man because he is gay -- and I say we should not. 
--Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) Gannett News Service, 2/27/98

March 5, 1998: Republican Senator Orrin Hatch Says Hormel Has Bipartisan Support. Conservative Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was asked whether the Hormel nomination was dead. His response: I donít think so. It has bipartisan support. Hatch, who like Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) signed a bipartisan letter in support of Hormelís nomination, said Hormel is a person of great ability...I  myself canít deny this man the opportunity knowing that he has the abilities to serve in this position. (San Francisco Examiner, 3/6/98) 

March 9, 1998: Republican Senator Tim Hutchinson Admits If Vote Were Today Hormel Would Be Confirmed Fairly Easily. Republican Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), one of three Republican Senators who have publicly announced placing a hold on Hormelís nomination, admits there is widespread support for Hormel in the Senate: Iím inclined to think if it comes to a vote today..., it gets confirmed fairly easily. Hutchinson also notes the advantage to slowing down the confirmation process: The more time elapses, the more issues get aired and the greater erosion there is on his strengths and possibilities. (Washington Times, 3/10/98) 

March 24, 1998: 42 Senators Sign Letter To Majority Leader Trent Lott Requesting Vote On Hormelís Nomination. Letter from 42 Democratic Senators to Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MO): We are writing to express our strong support for James Hormel to be Ambassador to Luxembourg and to request that Mr. Hormelís nomination be brought before the Senate as soon as possible. Mr. Hormel is a very qualified ambassadorial nominee and deserves consideration by the Senate. His accomplishments as an educator, philanthropist, community leader and diplomat all highlight the qualities and abilities he would bring to service as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg...We respectfully urge that the Senate be given the opportunity to vote on his nomination in light of his extraordinary qualifications. (Dear Mr. Leader letter, 3/24/98) 

April 2, 1998: Senator Hatch Wants Senate To Confirm Hormel Ė Says Senator Lottís Decision Not To Lift Holds is Unfortunate. On April 2, 1998 Majority Leader Lott announced he would not lift the holds placed by Republican Senators on Hormelís nomination any time soon. In response, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch called Lottís decision unfortunate because he (Hormel) has committed not to let his personal social views become part of his ambassadorial work. (Des Moines Register, 4/3/98; San Francisco Examiner, 4/2/98) 

April 14, 1998: Alice Turner, Former Wife of James Hormel, Writes Letter To Senator Lott Supporting Her Ex-Husbandís Nomination.  I have known Jim for 46 years and for ten of those years I was married to him...I grew to understand the terrible prejudice and hatred that he knew he would have to face...and is facing as he goes through the difficult process this nomination and its opponents have put him through...I share with you these personal things because I gather his personal ethics have been questioned. If anyone on this earth could come close to judging that it would be me. He is a wonderful father, grandfather and friend...Jim Hormel has given enormously to his family, his community and to this country. He is just asking to be allowed to give one more time. This is a good man. Give him a chance. (Dear Senator Lott, 4/14/98 ) 

April 18, 1998: New York Times Op-Ed Says Hormel Is Ludicrously Overqualified. According to a New York Times op-ed by Frank Rich, Hormel is a philanthropist, former University of Chicago Law School dean and delegate to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, heís ludicrously overqualified. (New York Times, 4/21/98 ) 

April 18, 1998: New York Times Reports Republican Richard Tafel Says Americans Should Be Judged On Merit In The Workplace. Richard Tafel, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, explained why he is trying to break the Hormel logjam in the Senate, saying: Merit should be the sole criterion by which all Americans are judged in the workplace. (New York Times, 4/21/98 ) 

April 21, 1998: Fort Worth Star-Telegram Says Senate Should Be Allowed To Vote. In an editorial calling for Republicans to let the Senate vote on James Hormel, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes: Conservatives like Sens. Gordon Smith of Oregon and Orrin Hatch of Utah take him at his word and support his nomination. Some others, harking to conservative groups that are part of the GOP constituency, do not. Yet they say the issue is not his sexual orientation. If it is not, then the Senate should be allowed to vote, yea or nay . If sexual orientation actually is the issue, then the Senate needs to take a look at itself in the mirror. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 4/21/98 ) 

April 21, 1998: USA Today Reports Republican Steve Gunderson Says Hormelís Nomination Is About Politics Of The Far Right. Former Republican House member Steve Gunderson on Hormelís nomination: This nomination has nothing to do any longer with Jim Hormelís qualifications.  Itís all about the politics of the far right. (USA Today, 4/21/98) 

April 22, 1998: Tulsa World Wants To See The Evidence If Hormel Lacks Credentials Or Else Let Hormelís Nomination Go To A Vote. According to a Tulsa World editorial,  If the three senators can produce solid evidence that Hormel does not have the credentials to do the job, then letís see the evidence . Otherwise, let Hormelís nomination go to a vote. (Tulsa World, 4/22/98 ) 

May 6, 1998: San Francisco Examiner Says Hormel Is Qualified In Every Way For The Ambassadorial Post. According to a San Francisco Examiner editorial:  No one has made a case that Hormel would not be a savvy and sensitive representative of this countryís interests in the diplomatic post for which he was chosen by President Clinton...He_,s qualified in every way for the ambassadorial post except, according to some Republicans, that heís of the wrong sexual orientation. (San Francisco Examiner, 5/6/98 ) 

May 11, 1998: Time Reports Hormel Would Have Sailed Through In Ordinary Circumstances. Time Magazine reports that ...the most obvious nod to religious conservatives in the Senate involves the blockage of Clintonís nomination of James Hormel to be U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg...Under ordinary circumstances, Hormelís nomination would have sailed through the Senate with little notice.(Time, 5/11/98 )