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It’s days like this when you realize that the gay rights movement still has a helluva way to go.

Despite our nation’s recent same-sex marriage victories and the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, it’s still A-OK to be a very public homophobic bigot — at least in politics.

Even worse, America’s first “gay” president is perfectly fine with a bigoted chum gargler like Chuck Hagel serving in his Cabinet. This is not progress. This is a step back into Strom Thurmond’s loafers, you know, the ones that S.C. Democratic Party chair Dick Harpootlian said Lindsey Graham was “too light” to fill.

Seriously folks, how in Zod’s scorched earth is it acceptable to have former Sen. Hagel serving as our nation’s Defense Secretary? I mean, this is a guy who once opposed a proposed U.S. ambassador simply because the man was gay. To make matters even worse, Hagel was particularly upset because the man in question was “openly, aggressively gay.” The key word here is “aggressively.” I don’t have to tell you what Hagel was afraid of. I’m sure you’ve read that Chick Tract too.

If there’s one thing that Hagel’s nomination makes clear, it’s that our political leaders — Obama included — fail to understand that discrimination is discrimination is discrimination — regardless of whether you are black or Latino or Jewish or a Muslim or a woman.

I don’t know about you, but it’s high time that the presidents and all his Beltway peeps realize that gay rights are civil rights. And if that means we have to strap on a pair of loafers, so be it. It’s time to be aggressive.