Talking about whether we should be talking about Kagan’s sexual orientation

The suggestion that someone is gay is usually taken as a direct accusation of homosexuality. Only being gay is not automatically a disqualification for office anymore. Indeed, many places have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and there are an increasing number of gay and lesbian officeholders at all levels of elected government. So why do we still think it’s bad to call someone a lesbian?  Linda Hirshman, who admits to knowing nothing about the sexual orientation of Kagan, wraps up her interesting op-ed piece by saying:

Finally, and here’s a real dirty little secret, President Obama appointing an openly gay candidate for the Supreme Court would be political genius. Think about the prospect of watching the married Senator Ensign—who is under investigation for allegedly seeking lobbying work for the husband of his mistress—arguing that the high court nominee is “sinful” or “lacking in personal morality,” as the Focus on the Family suggests. The polls are clear: Regardless of their views on same sex marriage, most Americans do not think gays and lesbians should be discriminated against, and the numbers for gays on all issues are sky high among young voters. The Republicans don’t want to be caught in a Pat Buchanan-style culture war just as the mid-term elections loom, just like enough of them wanted to avoid the anti-Hispanic trap to confirm Justice Sotomayor. It’s a no-lose nomination.

There is nothing wrong with being gay (or lesbian). What hurts is the assumption that it hurts.


Filed under GLBT Rights, U. S. Supreme Court, Woman Power

6 responses to “Talking about whether we should be talking about Kagan’s sexual orientation

  1. Won’t it be a better world when sexual orientation effects nothing more than who you desire to have sex with!?

  2. Having never served as a judge, one of President Obama’s leading candidates to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens leaves a slim record for conservatives to attack. But opponents believe they have found their mark in Elena Kagan’s statements about discrimination in the military’s recruitment policy while she was dean at Harvard Law School. In 2003, Kagan wrote students, saying that the military’s stance on gays was “a profound wrong—a moral injustice of the first order.” Said one conservative Court watcher, “If she is the nominee, that is an angle that I would press.” But students from Harvard during Kagan’s time caution that, despite her rhetoric, she was not a leader in the fight to keep military recruiters off campus.

  3. indypendent

    Obama could nominate Jesus Christ himself and the Republicans would find something wrong him.

    You know, Jesus always did hang around those poor souls that were outcasts of society – the poor, the sick, thieves, prostitutes and beggars.

  4. Susi Spice

    well unless you are white, upper middle to upper class, male, christian conservative, at least 5th generation american, staunch republican there will always be something wrong with you.

    Race, gender, sexual orientation are still prevelent prejudices that exist in the world and the republicans know that it is in their best interest to ensure they keep this alive, otherwise they die. When they got nothin’ on them they scrape the bottom of the barrel and try to instigate and promote a core prejudice to win votes.

  5. tosmarttobegop

    Fnord hit the nail on the head, that it only matters as to if you are wanting sex with someone.
    Taking a person’ stance on sexual orientation as a sign of their own orientation is simple minded.

    If that was the case then explain the men who are Pro-life?
    I have no idea if Kagan is a lesbian and since I am not thinking of her as a sexual partner it is meaningless to me.

    I do not need to be Gay, Black, or a woman to understand what is at stake when it comes to what is right or wrong. I simply need to be able to think and reason.