Hagel made the remarks during an interview on James C. Hormel, a Bill Clinton nominee to to be ambassador to Luxembourg in 1997. "They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay -- openly, aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel -- to do an effective job," Hagel told The Omaha World-Herald.
Hagel was unsuccessful in his campaign, as Hormel was given a recess appointment by Clinton and shipped to Luxembourg anyway. In 1999, Hagel told The New York Times that "the U.S. armed forces aren't some social experiment" when it comes to gays in the military.
Hagel's comments are coming back full circle now that he's been shortlisted for top Pentagon post. The White House says Pres. Obama hasn't made a decision about the job yet. Surely the president is considering the consequences of being on the wrong side of the rainbow.
The New York Times reports that Hagel was granted a zero score by the Human Rights Campaign on his LGBT support record in the Senate.
Hagel apologized on Friday:
"My remarks 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 L.G.B.T. Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights."
Are his new sentiments enough for forgiveness or has Hagel already shown his loyalties?