No, Sonia Sotomayor Isn’t Gay. But Is She Gay Friendly?


Forget Sonia Sotomayor’s YouTube moment. And that she’s a pronunciation traitor. And that she’s a racist! The real scandal about the prospective Supreme Court justice is that she’s a big dyke!

HA HA HA J/K! Sort of.

For all intents and purposes, Sotomayor is a happily single heterosexual. Sure, she divorced from her husband way back in 1983. And sure, she never remarried. And sure, she enjoys a best friendship with a gal pal that screams “Oprah-Gayle.”

But don’t let any of that make you think Obama is appointing a gay to the court — which seems to be the running theory on how the GOP could try to sabotage her appointment.

(But if Sotomayor were a lesbian, how amusing would it be that she would replace suspected gay David Souter?)

Where we should be connecting gays to Sotomayor, however, is with analysis on how she’ll swing when it comes to issues of equality.


Except she has barely any history on GLBT issues, as Chris Crain notes. Her 11 years with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit so far turns up nothing about gay or AIDS-related rulings, and neither did her six years a judge with the U.S. District Court judge in New York.

That hasn’t hasn’t stopped Gay Inc. from (cautiously) being optimistic about Sotomayor. But rest assured: Gay legal organizations like Lambda Legal and the ACLU’s LGBT division are launching a full court press (just like every other interest group) to see where she stands.

And then come the identity politics. In 2001 Sotomayor said that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion” than a “white male” judge. That touches on the “empathy” criteria President Obama said he was looking for; in theory, a person belonging to a minority would understand the plights of Americans better than a blinder-wearing person in the majority.

But that’s not always the case: Gays can be racist, blacks can be anti-gay, and Jews can hate Muslims.

So as we prepare for Sotomayor’s confirmation (we expect the Senate Democrats to OK her without much fanfare), the question remains: What can she do for us? Are we looking at a woman who will understand the importance of equality and privacy? Or do we know so little about where Sotomayor stands that assuming she’s an ally is too great a risk?

UPDATE: Is this 33-year-old letter co-signed by Sotomayor, sent to Princeton’s student newspaper, the only piece of evidence we have that she’s a gay ally?

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  • Sceth

    When I heard Obama talk about Judges considering empathy, what I thought was Judges who consider the incentives of the people before them. A judge who dismisses complaints against gay marriage/union bans as not necessarily profound discrimination is a judge who is not considering the everyday motives of marriage, and hence someone I would call highly unempathetic.

    So I think it might be alright to be a bit optimistic about her. If she really is very empathetic, then hopefully she will consider DOMA and the like as fundamentally unfair as a matter of sexual-orientation-related incentives, but this is just a hope.

  • Fitz

    I don’t expect much from anyone picked by Barak “Cuz God is in the Mix” Obama.

  • Sceth

    @Fitz: We have to stop thinking in terms of Obama. We can’t depend on him, but he has better friends. Do you think he’s going to appoint a bunch of conservatives to the lower courts? Among any bunch of liberals he gives even minor positions, there will be impetus to help the gays. Remember most cases will not reach SCOTUS.

  • dgz

    i have no idea where she stands on gay issues… but i’d be willing to bet she’s had a gay clerk who does. ask around, queerty.

    as for her supposedly “racist” quote, i think it would be beneficial to publish the whole passage. she goes on to discuss rising above her experiences and personal prejudices. it basically means the opposite of what limbaugh is characterizing, when placed in context.

  • John

    I’ve pretty much lost my faith in Obama, the supreme court and everyone else in power. the slap in the face from my republican run supreme court here in California has left me a little down.

  • Chris

    “I don’t expect much from anyone picked by Barak “Cuz God is in the Mix” Obama.”

    Then I hope you didn’t support John Edwards or Hillary Clinton either.

  • Alec

    @Chris: You misunderstand. President Obama must be uniquely anti-gay. It is the only thing that explains why his positions are the same as all the other presidential candidates who had a shot in hell of winning.

    I had the chance to read some Sotomayor opinions, and I’ve been looking at her record on a range of issues. I think she’ll be as gay friendly as the members of the current liberal wing serving on the court.

    And queerty, Souter isn’t gay. He had to bring out a former girlfriend/lover to cool those rumors. I don’t think he has any reason to lie, at this point.

  • Michael W.

    She hasn’t had a man in 26 years?

    She’s got lesbian written all over her.

  • ProfessorVP

    There is a reason there was enormous speculation that Souter is gay. It is the audio and especially visual of him. Straights often have a high accuracy rate spotting gays, and gays can generally spot each other. It wouldn’t have mattered if he had wives and kids out the wazoo, whatever a wazoo is.

    That Souter “had to bring out” anybody to defend his hetero credentials, to anybody over the age of 12 and doesn’t live in the vast area between New York and Los Angeles, pretty much seals the deal.

    The notion that Souter is “married to his job” is the kind of crap I’ve heard from Ed Koch to Janet Reno. Why, at this point, doesn’t Souter come out? For the same reason a lot of high-profile people don’t come out. Imagine Oprah Winfrey saying to her millions of white suburban fans, “If you weren’t intolerant idiots, I wouldn’t have had to invent Stedman. You MADE me do it.” I no more blame David Souter for wanting to be a Supreme Court Justice than I would blame Oprah for wanting to be a billionaire, and there are things that need to be done to get the things we want. My problem is that there are still, in 2009, people who cover their sexuality just to keep their low-paying jobs and to keep from getting beaten up. Having more influential gay role models wouldn’t solve the problem, but would certainly help. Like who? David Souter, for one.

  • Alec

    @Michael W.: Maybe he has a thing for women rumored to be lesbians. Secretary Napolitano has had those rumors circulating around her as well, and she was on the short list.

  • Alec

    @ProfessorVP: But what if he isn’t?

    I mean, I really don’t think there is any reason for Souter, in 2003 or 2004 or whenever it was, to even address his sexuality. He wasn’t going to face impeachment over it. He already had his seat.

  • M Shane

    I don’t know why Obama would be uniquely antigay or antigay at all. Many bright gay and straight people who think that gay ‘marriage’ is a farce and no more than a fetish are well in support of civil unions as are most Europeans-that does not equate with antigay.

    Most of us elected Obama for a number of essential reasons, not the least of which is restoring the Constitution.
    For people who have been inside a pink buble for the last decade or two, Obama has a huge task ahead along with seeing to gay issues. We are neither the worst off nor the most in need of help..

  • Alec

    @M Shane: That part of my post (“uniquely antigay”) was meant to convey sarcasm.

    I think the anti-gay marrage position is, on some level, anti-gay. I mean ultimately why is there a need, if you support civil unions, to support discriminatory language? You only want to do that if you believe that all gay relationships are inferior to all straight relationships. Whether that is tolerable is a different question, but it is hard to believe it isn’t anti-gay, without more explanation, at least.

  • Michael W.

    @Alec: If Janet Napolitano isn’t a lesbian then I don’t know who is.

    Obama’s sneaking us in through the back door. I knew he loved us.

  • ProfessorVP

    @Michael W.:
    Some love, Michael! (But I know you were kidding.) It is entirely possible- and it’s my theory- that Obama knows so few gays and lesbians, or more accurately, THINKS he knows almost none, that he wouldn’t know a lesbian if she kicked him with her hiking boot at Home Depot. If you’ve paid much attention to our Change President, he doesn’t have a clue on LBGT stuff, not even a map to find his GPS. This is why, to me, it’s important for powerful gays and lesbians to be out.

  • ProfessorVP

    Re-read what I wrote, Alec. Sure, he wouldn’t lose his seat, but Souter would have a lotta ‘splainin to do, having done his best- which wasn’t much- to show he wasn’t gay. As I said, it’s the “You (the public, my employer, my family, the TV audience, the voters, you name it) MADE me be deceptive” syndrome. Once you’ve gone that route, how do you undo it? Clay Aiken recently did, and that old actor from M*A*S*H, but only after their careers, for all practical purposes, ended.

  • Tommy

    I don’t think she’s a lesbian. She was actually engaged to a guy a couple of years ago but they split up before marrying. So it’s not true she hasn’t had a man in 26 years. She just isn’t married.
    Guess what heterosexuals have sex without being married!

  • Bill Perdue

    The reason to be wary of Sotomayor is that she’s the nominee of a bigot named Obama who leads a party that dumped our agenda to get elected.

  • Fitz

    @Bill Perdue: EXACTLY. I wouldn’t trust him if he said the sky was blue.

  • David M. Gibson

    I’m automatically fearful of Sotomayor for two reasons. Number 1: She has that catholic religious thing going for (or against) her. Secondly: She was chosen by our dear president for, most likely, her like ideas. I mean why would he appoint someone who was fundamentally different to HIS views, his way of thinking and who will, of course, remain on the bench long after his term(s) have ended. I say, watch out, folks. We may be in for a long and bumpy ride.

  • forbesfart

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Barrak wrote to the gtlbt people in Feb 2008 and promised to end doma and dadt.

  • sparkle obama

    you guys are crazy.

  • Tommy

    Just because she’s was raised Catholic doesn’t mean she accepts all the views of the Church. There are plenty of Catholics who still attend church regularly but are totally against their positions on abortion and gays.
    If she was really a devout Catholic, she would have married and had ten kids!


    I think the law should be interpreted via the constitution and not through empathy because Ones parents did not hug them enough they go and shoot up a school yard. NO the Law is the Law. If the Law is wrong then fight to change the Law. This is exactly why America is becoming a second class country & a nation of whiners. NO TO Sotomayor.

  • strumpetwindsock


    Recent studies show that a higher percentage of Catholics are pro-choice (abortion) than evangelical christians.

    I would expect similar numbers on gay rights issues as well.

    Coming from a catholic background does not necessarily mean one is closed-minded. If anyting, it is a faith that has had to bend and stretch to fit different cultures a bit more than U.S. Evangelism.

  • Jonathan

    She was had some very openly gay, progressive clerks… both on the SDNY and the @d Circuit. From what I’ve heard from them, she has no personal or legal bias against gays. That’s all we have from the other three liberal/moderate Justices. That’s enough for me, for now.

  • Jonathan

    @ = 2

  • Jonathan

    @dgz: She definitely had gay clerks… And if they have any sense they will keep their mouths shut.

  • alan brickman

    hopefully she won’t show typical “minority prejudice” for equal rights for gays

  • Bill Perdue

    @alan brickman: That kind of rancid racist garbage plays into the hands of the theocratswho want to divide us and is not based on reality.

  • NewYorkness

    Ruben Diaz Sr., the anti-gay marriage NY state senator who is the most aggressive against gay marriage seems to think that Sotomayor will be a liberal.

    He said Sotomayor, currently a judge on Second Circuit Court of Appeals, was “very qualified” but said that “for Christians, it will be bad.”

    “She’s a very liberal person, and she will support a liberal agenda,” he said

    so this may be good news…after all Diaz is a Puerto Rican also from the Bronx and should know Sotomayor well enough within the circles of NY politics and law.

  • Sceth

    @NewYorkness: Heh… why is he a Democrat?

  • Bill Perdue

    @Sceth: Because like fearless leaders Obama and the Clintons he’s a pigheaded opponent of same sex marriage.

    With Democrats like these who needs Republicans.

  • Paliban Mom

    It’s true, that Sonia Sotomayor is the ultimate trap for Republicans. They either have to lay back and let her be confirmed, or risk alienating women, Latinos, and Catholics in the process of arguing against a woman who bases her judgment on “feelings” instead of the law.

    No Republicans I know genuinely think she’s either a lesbian or a strong supporter of homosexual rights, however. Heck, she’s a Latina (they generally hate homosexuals) and a Catholic (same, except when it comes to their pedophile priests abusing children). How can she be pro-gay?

  • dgz

    @Jonathan: true that. glad you shared your insider knowledge with us! while almost every federal judge seems to have had a gay clerk, it’s good to know she had a good attitude toward hers.
    diaz’s doubts are ringing endorsements to my ears.

  • dgz

    @alan brickman: kindof like your “minority prejudice,” you mean?

  • Alec

    @Bill Perdue: Agreed. Like Marxist “economics” it leaves much to be desired.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Alec: Roy Cohn, you’re up late trolling. Take a sleeping pill and drift off remembering how proud you are to be a shill for bigots.

  • Alec

    @Bill Perdue: Poor Bill. Call me Cohn to your heart’s content; your promotion of Stalinism speaks for itself.


  • Bill Perdue

    @Alec: Poor Roy/Alec.

    Right centrist politics makes for strange bedfellows. You wouldn’t know a Stalinist if you bedded one, and since the CP practically dissolved itself into the right centrist Democrat party decades ago (yes, they are that right wing) that’s probably happened more than once.

    Clueless you.

  • Alec

    @Bill Perdue the Stalinist:

    Right. I’m sure the circle jerk political debates within the fringe left movement are interesting during your late night cafe chats. If being indifferent to your failed ideological enterprise is being clueless, just call me Silverstone.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Alec: I’ll just call you Roy Cohn. which is accurate.

  • Lyle

    @alan brickman: As a gay minority, I’ve always felt the gay white majority would be so much more comfortable if I had never existed. I love how you can talk about minorities having something against gays, when you obviously have something not just against gay minorities, but minorities themselves. Pigbitch.

  • Tony

    Look. I am never one to give Nobama a pass, but she is better than ANYONE Bushtard appointed, so we could do worse.

  • Inukumaru

    This gay novel has pretty extreme views about religion and being gay all done in a sci-fi style sory, the writer was even almost killed when this book was first published. After being banned in his own country it is now available.
    check the plot – As predicted by Isaac Newton the second coming happened and as the world waited to see what was about to happen an appointed man was sent to meet God, hours later God had vanished and the man came out immortal; no apocalypse, no destruction and no salvation. This gave birth to a chain of holy wars that almost chattered Earth’s civilizations and so giving birth to a mass colonization of planets to ensure peace by separation. Thousands of years later all was at peace by until Endings were born; humans connected to their planets in such a way that they are capable of destroying them should they wish it. Now Earth’s Ending has been born and the day to pass judgment draws near.
    it can be found here–a-song-for-the-end-/7182389

    Apart from that it is very hard to find

  • San Diego Rocks

    Like if she had a demonstratively pro-gay track record she’d be confirmed? Of course not!

  • San Diego Rocks

    Oh PS-How about CA Supreme Court Justice Carol Corrigan. It is widely known that she’s a dyke. She’s lived openly with another woman for years and her neighbors have even acknowledged this. On KGO Radio (San Francisco) Corrigan’s sexuality was openly discussed for an hour by moderator Kristine Craft because the irony is that Corrigan has NEVER supported marriage equality as a Supreme Court Justice. Both times she voted against us! I remember her comment during the televised hearing challenging prop 8 where she says (and this is not a quote as I can’t remember her exact words) something to the effect that she personally wished that gay and lesbian people could marry but she wasn’t persuaded of the legal argument that it was a right enshrined in the state’s constitution.

    Just because they’re gay or lesbian doesn’t NECESSARILY mean they’ll support us from the bench!

  • Dennis

    I heard that since Obama nominated her, she’s really a “plant”…Yes, it’s true, “Sonia Sotomayor” doesn’t exist!!! Her bio is all made up, created by a huge White House conspiracy…It’s really Maggie Gallagher of NOM in disguise….God, will that damn Obama stop at nothing to destroy our community?! Why doesn’t Queerty expose this?! They are always kissing Obama’s ass, but the people need to know.

    I know the “Obots” won’t beleive it, but who cares what they think…they just go “waaah” whenever anybody says anything bad about their “chocolate Jesus”…

  • GBM

    You QUEENS are really performing arts.

    Yeah Dennis try telling a Hispanic Gay person that Sotomayor is a plant and see what happens. I bet you won’t.

  • Landon Bryce

    Sotomayor is a nail in the coffin of gay equality for the next twenty years. Six Catholics on the court should make EVERYONE nervous. So much for diversity.

    If Lawrence v. Texas came to the new Bush/Obama court there can be no doubt that Scalia’s hateful bigoted words would have been the majority opinion. There would still be sodomy laws in the United States.

    McCain would NEVER have been to snek a sixth Catholic onto the Supreme court. Those of you who insisted that we HAD to vote for Obama for the Supreme Court have been made utter fools of. In this case, there is no doubt gay people would have been better off with McCain choosing the justices.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Landon Bryce: Some of those Catholics voted for gay rights in the past.

  • Landon Bryce

    Which Catholic on the current Supreme Court (Sotomayor) has ever failed to make an anti-gay ruling when given the chance?

    None. Not one.

    Try again.

  • Cheesehead

    While Queerty asserts, “Her 11 years with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit so far turns up nothing about gay or AIDS-related rulings, and neither did her six years a judge with the U.S. District Court judge in New York.” Art Leonard has found some cases where Judge Sotomayor took some pro-gay stances. Care to correct the post?

  • atdleft

    @Landon Bryce: Umm, Anthony Kennedy for starters? And I know I’m forgetting someone else. Is Stephen Breyer also Catholic?

  • atdleft

    @Cheesehead: Thanks. So at the very least, she’ll be as reliable on LGBT rights as Souter. And while I doubt she’ll be vocal in supporting marriage equality during the Senate hearings, this gives me hope that she’ll be a reliable vote to overturn the state marriage bans should the Prop H8 case reach SCOTUS in the next few years.

  • tdx3fan

    The LARGEST racist movement in this country for a very, very long time has nothing at all to do with whites. It is between Hispanics and Blacks. Its these groups that seek to rid the world of each other through their criminal organizations and that have the inability to get along.

    The problem isn’t that she hasn’t had a hard life, it is that someone that is in the law profession for as long as she has been should be able to pick her words VERY carefully before saying them in public. All she had to say is, “because of where I’ve come from as a Latina woman I find that I have a unique perspective,” and if she would have left it at that, no one would be calling her a racist or wanting to burn her in effigy.

    Also, another thing I will never get, why is it that AIDS is always considered a gay issue. AIDS IS NOT A GAY ISSUE!!! AIDS is a stupidity issue in this country. If you want to sleep with everything that moves and 9/10 times not even use protection (because we all know bare back is better) then don’t be shocked when you get AIDS, and don’t expect us to mourn you or support you when your own stupidity led to your tragedy.

  • The Disseminating Machine

    Sonia Sotomayor will be a great judge!


    George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked Margie Schoedinger to the point that she could not get away from it, and she committed suicide in desperation to escape: he murdered her.

    “In her suit, Margie Schoedinger states that George W. Bush committed sexual crimes against her, organized harassment and moral pressure on her, her family members and close relatives and friends. As Schoedinger said, she was strongly recommended to keep her mouth shut. . . . Furthermore, she alleges that George Bush ordered to show pressure on her to the point, when she commits suicide” (blog of drizzten).

    “One of those ‘very leasts’ [was] George Bush’s personal complicity in the death (murder to be precise) of my friend Margie Schoedinger in September of 2003. Determining the exact whereabouts and contacts of [then] president-elect George Bush on September 21 thru 22, 2003, should be entirely lacking in difficulty” (Leola McConnell (Nevada Progressive Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010)).

    Leola McConnell is correct: Bush applying pressure (continuously criminally stalking Margie Schoedinger) purposefully to force Margie Schoedinger to commit suicide does in fact constitute murder.

    BEWARE: If the president of the United States hates one—for whatever reasons—he can continuously criminally stalk one to the point that one cannot get away from it, and one ultimately commits suicide in desperation to escape. He can murder people in this way.

    Bush is getting away with his murder of Margie Schoedinger—with no sheriff, prosecutor, or court willing to uphold the rule of law.

    Bush’s method of murdering Margie Schoedinger cannot exist in a vacuum: he must have murdered other people in the same way.

    Bush should confess, come out with the names of all of the people whom he murdered in the disgusting way he murdered Margie Schoedinger, undergo execution, and accordingly find himself at the intersection where he would be free.

    (There are thousands of copies of the information above on the Internet. It exists very extensively in all major search engines. Please feel free to go to any major search engine, type “George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked Margie Schoedinger to the point that she could not get away from it, and she committed suicide in desperation to escape: he murdered her,” hit “Enter,” and find innumerable results.)
    Andrew Y. Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

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