President Clinton announced today that he has appointed James Hormel as Ambassador to Luxembourg. Clinton took advantage of the 10-day Memorial Day recess to make his appointment, thus allowing him to install Hormel without congressional approval.

The Catholic League has consistently opposed Hormel’s appointment because of the nominee’s refusal to dissociate himself from an anti-Catholic group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; we have never opposed Hormel—or anyone else—because of his sexual orientation.

It was at a gay pride parade in 1996 in San Francisco that Hormel, while doing commentary for KOFY-TV, laughed approvingly at the anti-Catholic group as they mocked Catholic nuns in front of him. When given the chance to repudiate the group by Senator Tim Hutchinson, Hormel refused to do so. Luxembourg is a nation that is 97 percent Catholic.

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

“In a move that was quintessentially Clintonesque, the president showed contempt for congress by doing an end-run around the legislative process in appointing James Hormel as Ambassador to Luxembourg. That he managed to offend Catholic sensibilities as well is hardly a shocker.

“We will now make Al Gore the target of our concerns. We need to know whether the vice president, who just last week voiced strong approval for a ‘new partnership’ between church and state, would make such an appointment were he to be elected in 2000. If Gore is serious about an increased role for religious institutions in public policy programs, he should have no problem explaining to Catholics why someone like Hormel would never be appointed to any office. The faster Gore gets this behind him, the better. We won’t give up until he states his position.”

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