What Andrew Sullivan + American Family Association Both Want to Know: Elena Kagan’s Lez Factor

What does one of America’s leading British imports of mostly rational thought have in common with one of America’s leading hate groups responsible for spewing nonsense? They’re both really, really interested in whether Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan likes dusty muffins.

American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, May 10, 8:24am:

The White House has flatly stated that she is not gay, which could prove a tad embarrassing if the open secret of her lesbianism is confirmed at some point. If she’s a lesbian, it is going to become public knowledge, and the White House will simply have some more egg on its already yoke-splattered face.

Elena Kagan, if nominated today, will be forced to face the press. She cannot be kept closeted not only from the public but from the inquiring minds of the media. They have a solemn responsibility to do one thing: ask her directly and openly and in front of the American people: Are you a lesbian?

A refusal to answer is a tacit admission of guilt. But she may not be able publicly to deny she’s a lesbian, likely because it’s true. She may not be able to admit it either, because it could cost her a Supreme Court post. So she’s likely to refuse to answer the question at all, and the only plausible explanation for her evasion would be because rumors of her lesbianism aren’t rumors at all but based in fact.

Think about it for a minute. If you were falsely accused of engaging in sexually aberrant behavior, would you waste a single minute challenging such a scurrilous rumor?

[…] One qualification for public office is personal character, and nothing speaks to character more than the choices one makes when it comes to sexual conduct. Bill Clinton convinced an entire generation of America’s youth that oral sex isn’t really sex, and as a result we’ve seen an explosion among millenials in cancers of the throat and head caused by the HPV virus, which is spread through oral-genital contact.

It’s time we got over the myth that what a public servant does in his private life is of no consequence. We cannot afford to have another sexually abnormal individual in a position of important civic responsibility, especially when that individual could become one of nine votes in an out of control oligarchy that constantly usurps constitutional prerogatives to unethically and illegally legislate for 300 million Americans.

Andrew Sullivan, May 10, 11:56am:

It is no more of an empirical question than whether she is Jewish. We know she is Jewish, and it is a fact simply and rightly put in the public square. If she were to hide her Jewishness, it would seem rightly odd, bizarre, anachronistic, even arguably self-critical or self-loathing. And yet we have been told by many that she is gay … and no one will ask directly if this is true and no one in the administration will tell us definitively.

In a word, this is preposterous – a function of liberal cowardice and conservative discomfort. It should mean nothing either way. Since the issue of this tiny minority – and the right of the huge majority to determine its rights and equality – is a live issue for the court in the next generation, and since it would be bizarre to argue that a Justice’s sexual orientation will not in some way affect his or her judgment of the issue, it is only logical that this question should be clarified. It’s especially true with respect to Obama. He has, after all, told us that one of his criteria for a Supreme Court Justice is knowing what it feels like to be on the wrong side of legal discrimination. Well: does he view Kagan’s possible life-experience as a gay woman relevant to this? Did Obama even ask about it? Are we ever going to know one way or the other? Does she have a spouse? Is this spouse going to be forced into the background in a way no heterosexual spouse ever would be?

Different means, same ends.

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  • Kieran

    Huge and obvious difference between these two ponts of view. Bryan Fischer wants to know if Kagan is gay because he still sees homosexuality as something shameful that needs to be immediately denied. Andrew Sullivan wants to know if Kagan is gay because he DOESN’T see homosexuality as shameful that needs to be denied. Elena Kagan’s being born gay isn’t any more shameful or scurrilous than her being born Jewish, so why should she have to deny or hide it?

  • jason

    Isn’t it interesting that the pro-gay Sullivan and the anti-gay AFA both want to know about Kagan’s private life? It’s a classic example of intersection of two opposing forces. One travels towards one end, the other towards another, yet they meet at a point.

  • james_in_cambridge

    You know, when I read statements like these from groups like the AFA, I begin to understand why people get radicalized and blow things up in the Middle East. You simply feel like the other side wants to wipe you out, wipe out any public impression of you so you have to get them first…I hope they wake up and realize that the Christian theocracy they’d like to set up in the this country would only result in the U.S. turning into Israel, with massive amounts of violence in the streets daily. You’re only going to radicalize queers, blacks, mexicans…it’ll be a bloodbath. Since I like my country, I hope we all wake up before a President Huckabee is shoving his American Family Association backed Christian agenda through a tea-party led congress & splits this country apart….

  • d

    Leave it to Barack Obama to find a Lesbian that is opposed to Gay Marriage

  • AndrewW

    If Kagan is “hiding” the fact that she is a lesbian, than it does hurt our efforts simply because she (and the White House) believe it needs to be hidden – like a defect or disease.

    If the risk is filibuster, we would (in the long run) be better with a “filibustered lesbian” than lies.

    The “L” question is going to be asked. They should be preparing to answer it, instead of denying it. Most people who simply see a picture of Kagan conclude that she’s a lesbian.

    Having a lesbian on the Supreme Court is less important than having an honest, authentic conversation about her, including her sexuality – that IS who she is. If she is not confirmed because she is gay, that’s the reality of life in America. But hiding the “stigmatized” fact that she is gay only promotes and perpetuates the problem. The stigma doesn’t end until we confront it – not hide it.

  • ossurworld

    Imagine having a Supreme Court justice who believes the government should remain out of the bedroom.

  • AndrewW

    @ossurworld: So instead of being hidden in the “closet,” you suggest being hidden in the “bedroom.” That’s progress.

  • ChicagoJimmy

    Sullivan is sometimes rational? Really? According to who, Sullivan? Queerty, get over your love affair with Andrew Sullivan, he’s an idiot.

  • Mike L.

    I know I might get thumbs down for this, but if Republicans were to hear from her own lips that she is in fact a lesbian, they would call every Republican senator to filibuster, Conservatives are far more organized than are liberals and it really sucks but that’s how it is, they would flood the phones all day every day something I doubt liberals would do.

    And I think that even if she is hiding or atleast avoiding the Q about her sexual orientation it doesn’t mean she’ll go against gay marraige she’s just trying to get into the court and then there is no danger of her being out, she’s made it to the top.

  • Andy

    “A refusal to answer is a tacit admission of guilt”

    Did this shady Elena rob a bank or kill someone?

  • Bill

    Attacking her Jewishness? That’s straight up racist

  • jeffree

    Check out the blogs of the religious right brigade (u know –the ones that won’t let u post a comment until u sign up & give a donation!) & you’ll see that Pat Buchanan & his brigade are harping on how Jews are going to ruin the Xtian theocracy they hope for !!

    Their main arguement is that Jews make up less than 3 percent of the population but will, if Kagan is appointed, make up a disproportionate % of the SCOTUS. (RB Ginsberg & St. Breyer are apparently Jewish too).

    Their assumption is that Jews will swing the SCOTUS against Christian theocratic principles toward the RADICAL JEWISH AGENDA which includes ENDA, & repeal of DOMA & DADT.

    Im not a theist, which is 2 say not a Jew not a XTian, but I think the concern is that the New Apostolics (e.g. Sarah Palin — go google that term, por favor) will be unable to create a theocracy if a Jewess is appointed.

    That she is possibly a lesbian is still a source of fear for them, but it’s not in the same league as her lack of beliefs in the new testament!

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