New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato is defending the nomination of James Hormel to be ambassador to Luxembourg, saying that “I fear that Mr. Hormel’s nomination is being obstructed for one reason, and one reason only: the fact that he is gay.” D’Amato added that the future of the Republican Party “depends on tolerance and respect for people’s individual talents.”

William Donohue says Senator D’Amato misses the point:

“The Catholic League agrees with Senator D’Amato that James Hormel should not be denied the post of ambassador to Luxembourg on the basis of his sexual orientation. We also agree that tolerance is a worthy virtue. But we do not agree that this empties the issue.

“When Senator Tim Hutchinson gave James Hormel the opportunity to denounce anti-Catholicism, Hormel refused to do so. The question had to be asked given Hormel’s applause for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a notorious anti-Catholic gay group in San Francisco. The fact that Hormel laughed at the nun-dressed drag queens when covering a gay pride parade for KOFY-TV in San Francisco in 1996, and showed support for their antics, is something that a) should never have been done and b) should have been quickly and unambiguously retracted once Senator Hutchinson opened the door for him to do so.

“Hormel has chosen to slam the door on Catholics and now wants to be an ambassador to a nation that is 97 percent Catholic. Senator D’Amato, a Catholic himself, has an obligation to confront Hormel on this issue. If he doesn’t, it means that all his talk about tolerance is nothing but hot air.”

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