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Ramon Johnson

ISSUE: Is a Truce With Hagel Possible?

By January 9, 2013

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Despite our better wishes, Pres. Obama has nominated Chuck Hagel for the next Secretary of Defense post.

Hagel's previously vocal opposition to gay 'representation' in the US government has left many of us wondering if he's the most appropriate choice to lead a department that has just opened its doors to out servicemembers. Hagel has since apologized for anti-gay remarks made years ago, but is he simply changing his opinion to slide into one of the most powerful political positions in America?

It appears some are willing to forgive, including gay political icon and former Congressman Barney Frank. Frank told Boston Globe that he's withdrawing his "strongly opposed" position in favor of a more lenient better then the alternative. Frank said "with the attack coming out of the right," he hope Hagel gets confirmed.

Also on the spindle is advocacy megahouse HRC, who is giving its endorsement after previous zero rating.

It's impossible to predict what impact a successful Hagel confirmation will have on LGBT rights related to the military, but if the past is any indication it won't be great. Yet, that's just it. The words we speak forever haunt us, but what they really are are reflections of how we felt at the time we said them. Assuming Hagel hasn't change is an assumption that none of us do after stumbling in career-changing errors of judgement. Perhaps I'm too optimistic and am not seeing the leopard not changing its stripes thing. Or perhaps I believe there is more to Hagel than his blunders, especially given his predecessors.

Either way, Hagel has to prove his loyalty by his actions and not an uninterpretable apology. By that time it may be too late. So, we'll just have to trust that he's the right choice. But, isn't that what we've always done?
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