- The Washington Times - Friday, April 6, 2001

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci's nomination as U.S. ambassador to Canada yesterday, rejecting charges by conservative groups that he supports a radical homosexual agenda.
His nomination now moves to the full Senate for confirmation.
"I do not agree with all the positions he has taken, but he is this president's appointee," said Sen. Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the committee.
Mr. Cellucci was the subject of an intense campaign by more than three dozen American and a dozen Canadian "family values" organizations, which accuse him of promoting a radical homosexual political and social agenda as governor of Massachusetts.
More than 100,000 Americans have signed a petition against the Republican governor's approval.
The Family Research Council, one the the nation's largest and most vocal family rights groups, had lobbied Mr. Helms to oppose the nomination.
"Gov. Cellucci is not a friend of marriage and the family," wrote FRC in a news bulletin titled "Alert."
"His disregard for the sanctity of human life, his support for Planned Parenthood, and his championing the radical homosexual agenda, especially in Massachusetts public schools, disqualify him for this appointment," it said.
Despite the anti-Cellucci campaign, several senators predicted smooth sailing for the nominee.
"We all voted for him in the committee and I haven't heard anyone say they wouldn't [vote for him]," said Sen. George F. Allen, Virginia Republican. "The family groups and their concerns are welcome, but on balance, I think he'll do a great job."
Mr. Allen said he and Mr. Cellucci served as governors together.
"He is a very respectful and decent person. He'll do an outstanding job," he said.
Mr. Cellucci's detractors are unconvinced.
"He promotes a homosexual agenda in the public schools with very explicit descriptions of homosexual practices," said John Haskins, of the Boston-based Parent's Rights Coalition, earlier this week.
A seminar for homosexuals held at Tufts University in Boston last year, funded in part by Massachusetts taxpayers' money, angered many of the groups. The seminar included specific instructions in performing homosexual acts.
Mr. Cellucci's supporters argue that he condemned the seminar when he learned of its content and at least two state employees were fired for their participation in the forum.
Thirty-nine U.S. groups, including Family First, the Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America and the Traditional Values Coalition, oppose the confirmation of Mr. Cellucci.
Canadian groups opposed to Mr. Cellucci include the Canada Family Action Coalition, Choose Life Canada and REAL Women of Canada.
*James Morrison contributed to this story.

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