Questions related to Attorney General-designate John Aschroft’s opposition to a homosexual’s appointment as U.S. ambassador prompted a traditional-values group yesterday to distribute to every freshman senator a “C–t Coloring Book” available at the library center bearing the ambassador’s name.

James C. Hormel, a philanthropist and open homosexual, was nominated by former President Bill Clinton to serve as ambassador to Luxembourg in the late 1990s. Many senators, including Ashcroft — who represented Missouri until he was defeated last November by deceased Gov. Mel Carnahan — indicated they viewed Clinton’s selection unfavorably. Avoiding a Senate vote, Clinton made a recess appointment while the Senate was out of session, managing to give Hormel the job on June 5, 1999, without subjecting his choice to public scrutiny.

The first openly homosexual U.S. ambassador, Hormel had to give up the post in December. Ambassadors confirmed by the Senate serve at the pleasure of the president, while those given recess appointments serve only as long as the appointing chief executive is in office.

Homosexual activists are criticizing Ashcroft for opposing Hormel’s nomination. But at least one group has rallied behind the senator, distributing copies of a homosexual coloring book available at the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library. Called the “C–t Coloring Book,” Traditional Values Coalition Executive Director Andrea Lafferty gave a copy of the book to each freshman senator yesterday.

“We want every new senator to see this coloring book, because it clearly shows why John Ashcroft was so concerned about the appointment of homosexual activist James Hormel as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg,” said Lafferty.

TVC says the coloring book is for children and “contains page after page of drawings of female genitalia for children to color.” Lafferty visited the Hormel reading center several years ago when his ambassadorship was being debated in the Senate and discovered the coloring book plus other reading materials she says promoted incest and adult/child sex or pedophilia. At that time, she distributed the book to every member of the Senate.

“Senator Diane Feinstein has just announced that she will not vote for Ashcroft because his views are supposedly out of the mainstream. His views against homosexuality, child molestation and pornographic coloring books may be out of the mainstream in San Francisco, but not in the rest of the nation. Feinstein is representing the views of sexual predators — not mainstream Americans,” said Lafferty. “I think that most freshman senators would be deeply offended by this pornographic material for children. These senators should rise up to applaud Ashcroft for his opposition to Hormel for promoting this kind of obscene material in a public library.

“Sen. Ashcroft deserves our highest respect for his opposition to the Hormel nomination,” she continued. “He should not be condemned by pro-homosexual or ill-informed senators.”

But Ray Mulliner, vice president of the James C. Hormel Center, said the coloring book is “not available to children.”

“The book was developed by a woman to help women learn about their bodies,” he explained, adding that it can be found only in the “women’s studies” and “gay/lesbian” sections of the library.

In a letter written to the Family Research Council, another traditional values advocacy group that actively opposed Hormel’s nomination as ambassador, Board Chair Leslie Luttgens of the San Francisco Public Library Foundation reprimanded the group in 1998 for disseminating “inaccuracies” about Hormel.

“I write to make clear that Mr. James C. Hormel had no hand in selecting materials for the San Francisco Public Library,” wrote Luttgens.

“Mr. Hormel’s contributions were made exclusively to the Library Foundation and not to the San Francisco Public Library; his contributions were used for the construction of a new Main Library for the City and County of San Francisco. To recognize his contribution to the capital campaign and his many contributions to life in San Francisco, the Library names its Gay and Lesbian Center in his honor.”

Hormel, 68, donated $500,000 to the library project. He is also known for his sizable contributions to other community works, such as his $1.5 million donation to the School of Social Justice at Swathmore College, $500,000 to the Public Service Program at the University of Chicago Law School and $600,000 to an American Civil Liberties Union endowment. Hormel also supported “It’s Elementary” — a documentary intended for public school children that portrays the homosexual lifestyle as positive and normal.

The benefactor is a Minnesota native and son of the German immigrant who founded the Hormel Meat Company. Father of four daughters and one son from his 10-year marriage, Hormel was dean of the University of Chicago Law School.

“I get no satisfaction from this,” Hormel told the Associated Press. “I am extremely disturbed that he was nominated for this very sensitive post, and it concerns me greatly that he might be serving as attorney general, given his stated positions on a number of issues.”

Democrats are also fanning the homosexual issue with the case of a former Missouri health-care worker who says Ashcroft, as the state’s governor 15 years ago, questioned the applicant as to his sexual orientation. The man, Paul Offner, claims his employment interview with Ashcroft, started like this:

“Mr. Offner, do you have the same sexual preference as most men?” Offner, who has since married, says he replied that he did.

According to aides, Ashcroft says he doesn’t remember asking Offner about his sexual orientation in the 1985 interview. Offner, who had wanted to head up Missouri’s department of social services, didn’t get the job.

“The senator does not recall this meeting and cannot imagine starting a meeting with this question,” said Ashcroft spokeswoman, Mindy Tucker, in a London Independent report. “He made it clear to the [Judiciary] Committee that sexual orientation has never been something that he has used in hiring in any of the offices he has held, and it will not be a consideration at the Department of Justice.”


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