WASHINGTON, DC---June 30, 1998---As tensions intensify in the struggle over the confirmation of James Hormel, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) charged the leadership of the Republican Party with being out of step with mainstream America. The Task Force cited its recently released report From Wrongs to Rights, which shows that a large majority of Americans approve the idea of a gay or lesbian person serving in the Cabinet and that approximately half of all Americans believe that being lesbian or gay should not disqualify someone from being President.
"Opponents of Mr. Hormel's nomination are not only out of step with most Americans, but are deeply insulting to us," said Kerry Lobel, NGLTF executive director. "Polls show that Americans believe that sexual orientation should not disqualify an individual from serving as a cabinet member, or even President. It's high time our Senators act with the same common sense shown by the constituents they purport to represent," added Lobel.
Hormel, a businessman and philanthropist from San Francisco, was nominated last October by President Clinton to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg. Senate Leader Trent Lott has thus far refused to allow a full Senate vote on the confirmation. The Senate Foreign relations committee overwhelmingly approved Hormel's confirmation last November. As pressure mounts in the Senate, it's very possible that a floor vote will be imminent.
"The right wing of the Republican party is getting more vitriolic and anti-gay as the November election nears. This is clearly not about Mr. Hormel. It's about playing to the most intolerant elements of the party. This is an embarrassment to all Americans - gay and straight, Republican and Democrat," said Lobel.
For a copy of From Wrongs to Rights, NGLTF's report documenting trends in public opinion on gay and lesbian issues during the last twenty years, contact NGLTF at (202) 332-6483 ext. 3303.