Hutchison to vote against Kagan because she supported the gay ‘social agenda’ at Harvard

Ever since Kay Bailey Hutchison was whalloped in the Republican gubernatorial primary by Rick Perry, some have been holding out hope that our senior U.S. senator might get better on LGBT issues. After all, Hutchison may be eyeing retirement instead of re-election in 2012, so what does she have to lose politically? Given her moderate views on other social issues, such as abortion, some suspect Hutchison is personally more gay-friendly than her abysmal voting record indicates. She’s only voted against us consistently for the last 15 years, they say, because that’s the only way to get re-elected as a Republican in Texas.

Well, so much for that theory. Hutchison’s office never responded to our months-old inquiry about her position on the amendment that would repeal “don’t ask don’t tell,” but she’s been sending letters to gay constituents indicating she’ll oppose it. And now, she’s announced that she’ll vote against Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Why? Well, because Kagan supported the gays when she limited access to military recruiters at Harvard University based on her opposition to DADT. From Hutchison’s statement:

“Her decision on military recruiters while at Harvard gives evidence of her personal views instructing her professional decisions in order to promote a social agenda. I simply cannot reconcile Ms. Kagan’s sparse record and my concerns about whether she will be an impartial arbiter of the law and so I will oppose her appointment.”


—  John Wright

Dallas' Lynnie Henderson: If Kagan were a lesbian, she wouldn't play softball in Keds

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AfterEllen.com

There’s been a lot of talk, including on Instant Tea, about the Wall Street Journal’s decision this week to publish a 17-year-old photo of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan playing softball. But Dallas’ own Lynnie Henderson, who goes by “thelinster,” has now provided us with a definitive analysis. Read it by going here.

—  John Wright

What's Brewing: 5/12/10

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1. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan (above) is straight, and disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer actually might know, since he presumably tried to get in Kagan’s pants at some point when they were friends at Princeton. But are statements like the following enough to put to rest all the rumors about Kagan’s sexual orientation? “I’ve known her for most of her adult life and I know she’s straight,” said Sarah Walzer, Kagan’s roommate in law school and a close friend since then. “She dated men when we were in law school, we talked about men — who in our class was cute, who she would like to date, all of those things. She definitely dated when she was in D.C. after law school, when she was in Chicago – and she just didn’t find the right person.” More at Politico.

2. The effort to repeal “don’t ask don’t tell” in 2010 isn’t dead yet. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said yesterday he’ll include the repeal in this year’s Defense Authorization bill if there are enough votes to support it, regardless of opposition from Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Levin noted that if the legislative repeal goes forward this year, it wouldn’t take effect until after a Department of Defense review is finished in December. “What we ought to do is repeal it but make the effective date after the report,” Levin said. More at Talking Points.

3. The George “Rentboy” Rekers scandal keeps getting worse for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who hired Rekers in 2007 as an expert witness to testify in support of the state’s gay adoption ban. The Miami Herald reports today that Rekers’ fee for testifying was actually doubled, meaning the state paid him a whopping total of $120,693 after he exceeded his contracted hours. Needless to say this left Rekers with plenty of cash for male prostitutes, and my only regret is that Texas AG Greg Abbott never hired him. Also yesterday, Rekers stepped down from the board of the ex-gay organization NARTH. More on that at Joe.My.God.

—  John Wright

Wall Street Journal publishes front-page photo of Kagan playing softball 17 years ago

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Amid all the speculation and debate concerning Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation (see here, here and here), the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal opted to publish a photo of Kagan playing softball 17 YEARS AGO on its front page today. Personally I think the newspaper, which happens to have the largest circulation of any in the U.S., might as well have gone with a headline that said, “Lesbian or switch-hitter?”

UPDATE: Politico has more on this.

—  John Wright

Kagan nomination ensures that LGBT issues will play big part in confirmation process

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Elena Kagan

As I write this, President Barack Obama is announcing his nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court. Kagan, 50, would become the youngest member and the third woman on the current court. She has no prior judicial experience.

Kagan is expected to come under fire from conservatives over her decision as dean of Harvard Law School to bar military recruiters from campus on grounds that “don’t ask don’t tell” violated the school’s non-discdrimination policy. Kagan and 40 other Harvard professors signed a brief to the Supreme Court supporting an unsuccessful challenge to the Solomon Amendment, a federal law that denies funding to universities that don’t allow access to military recruiters. After ultimately allowing the recruiters back on campus, Kagan wrote an e-mail to the Harvard Law School community in which she called DADT “a profound wrong — a moral injustice of the first order.”

Kagan has also been the subject of a whisper campaign alleging that she is gay. In April CBS published a blog post by a former Bush administration aide saying that Kagan’s nominiation would help Obama “please” much of his base, since she would be the “first openly gay justice.” The White House swiftly quashed the rumor, accusing CBS of “lies,” and the blog post was taken down.

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement this morning praising Obama’s nomination of Kagan. HRC noted that the court could rule on several issues critical to the LGBT community in the next few years, including marriage equality, DADT, the Defense of Marriage Act, and the new federal hate crimes law.

“We applaud President Obama for choosing Elena Kagan to become our nation’s next U.S. Supreme Court Justice,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “The U.S. Supreme Court decides cases that intimately affect the lives of all Americans. We are confident that Elena Kagan has a demonstrated understanding and commitment to protecting the liberty and equality of all Americans, including LGBT Americans.”

—  John Wright