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Hagel Apologizes for Opposing ‘Aggressively Gay’ Envoy

Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel apologized for remarks he once made about the prospect of a gay U.S. ambassador, breaking his silence over criticism of his possible nomination as defense secretary.

Hagel apologized yesterday for comments in 1998 questioning whether an “openly, aggressively gay” person such as James Hormel could properly represent the U.S. abroad. President Bill Clinton later named Hormel ambassador to Luxembourg when the Senate was in recess because of opposition to making him an envoy.