- June 18 - Bias against gay Americans is the sole reason Senate Majority Leader
Trent Lott has not scheduled a vote on James Hormel's nomination to be the ambassador of
Luxembourg, said Senator Alfonse D'Amato today in an emphatic letter he sent
to Senator Lott. Senator D'Amato urged the majority leader to schedule an up or down
vote on the nomination.
"I fear Mr. Hormel's nomination is being
obstructed for one reason, and one reason only: the fact he is gay. In this day and
age, when people ably serve our country in so many capacities without regard ro sexual
orientation, for the United States Senate to deny an appointment on that basis is simply
wrong," stated Senator D'Amato in his letter.
"Senator D'Amato's letter places the
Hormel nomination in a whole new light. Momentum is building within the GOP caucus
to bring this nomination to the floor," says HRC Political Director Winnie
Senator D'Amato also called for the Republican
party to return to its core values of moderation and fairness.
"On a personal level, I am embarrassed
that our Republican Party, the Party of Lincoln, is seen to be the force behind this
injustice," said Senator D'Amato.
The views Lott expressed earlier this week on a
conservative cable television show put into question Lott's assertion that he was not
holding up the Hormel nomination simply because Hormel is gay. When asked whether or
not homosexuality was a sin, Lott replied, "Yeah, it is. You should still love
that person. You should try not to mistreat them as outcasts. You should show
them a way to deal with that problem, just like alcohol or sex. There are all kinds
of problems, addictions, difficulties, experiences of things that are wrong, but you
should try to work with that person to learn how to control that problem."
Hormel, a San Francisco businessman, is a
prominent civic leader and former diplomat. He has served as alternate U.S. representative
to the United Nations General Assembly and as a member of the U.S. delegation to the UN
Human Rights Commission. Based on his superb qualifications, he has amassed a
diverse array of supporters including senators Joe Biden (D-DE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT),
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Gordon Smith (R-OR), as well as secretary of state Madeleine
Albright and former Reagan administration secretary of state George Shultz.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest
national lesbian and gay political organization, with members throughout the country. It
effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support, and educates the public to ensure
that lesbian and gay Americans can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in the