Victims’ Nominee Failure: Was Sexual Orientation A Factor?


After Beatrice Hanson, the White House nominee to head the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime, withdrew her name this week, a web site covering the department quoted a gay-rights group as blaming the nomination’s failure on opposition 0ver the fact that she is gay. The Senate Judiciary Committee never held a hearing on the nearly year-old nomination. quoted the New York City Anti-Violence Project as saying that the only plausible reason for the delay was anti-gay sentiments of top-ranking Judiciary Republican Jeff Sessions (R-Al.) and his chief committee staffer.

Hanson was married to a woman in San Francisco in 2008. A White House spokesperson attributed the nomination’s withdrawal to the “protracted nature of the process.” A Democratic Judiciary staff member blamed Republicans for the failure to move the nomination; supposedly the GOP still was reviewing Hanson’s background. A Sessions spokesman called the suggestion that the senator opposed Hanson because she is gay “ludicrous.”

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