Lieberman on Hormel

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Tue Aug 8 07:25:56 PDT 2000

[on the one hand, on the other...]

Congressional Record, July 10, 1998 BEYOND THE CULTURE WARS: HOW WE CAN REDISCOVER COMMON MORAL GROUND Senator Lieberman (D-CT) ...The conflict over homosexuality's place, the place of homosexuals in our society, I think, offers a contemporary example of this tension that is very real in our lives and in our discussions and debates. Let's start with the reality that many Americans continue to believe that homosexuality is immoral and not just because the Bible tells them so.

In fact, Professor Wolfe's research showed that this is one of the few areas where Americans of all religious inclinations feel so strongly that they are willing to risk the tag of intolerance to express or hold to their points of view, although most of the people he interviewed tempered their disapproval by making clear that they did not support discrimination against gay men and lesbians. It is unfair, when you think about Professor Wolfe's research, then, for anyone to automatically conclude that people who express moral reservations or even disdain about homosexuality are bigots, or to publicly attack them as hateful. These are sincerely held morally based views.

Yet the suspicions and concerns of the gay community are understandable when one considers the Senate's treatment of James Hormel's nomination as Ambassador to Luxembourg, which is now being blocked by multiple holds by Members of this Chamber. If we truly believe in the claim of equality and the universal principle of fairness of the Declaration of Independence, and if we want to talk more broadly about values with true credibility in this Chamber, I think we owe Mr. Hormel a chance to be evaluated by the same standards we have applied to other nominees. We owe him a chance to be judged by his career and competence, not by his sexual orientation. We owe him a vote on this floor.

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list