Why is it such a slur to suggest Elena Kagan is a lesbian? Funny you should ask.
Well, ok, you didn’t ask me, but Roger Simon — best-selling author, CEO of PJ Media, proud father of a gay son, and advocate for gay equality — did.
If you’re coming in after the movie has started, let me catch you up. Solicitor General Elena Kagan was discussed in 2009 as a short-list candidate to be Obama’s nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Judging from blog posts in 2009, it was general knowledge that Kagan is a lesbian, and on left and right the attitude toward that seemed to be “NTTAWWT.” However, the “wise Latina” got the nod instead.
So when Justice John Paul Stevens announced he would retire this summer, Elena Kagan’s name came up again as a short-list candidate. And Obama interviewed Kagan on April 30, so he at least wants to give the appearance that she is being considered. However, a puzzling controversy began on April 11. Columnist Ben Domenech mentioned that her being a lesbian would be a plus from the left’s point of view — what with Democrats’ love of diversity, their hatred of hate, their total support of gay equality except when it comes to doing anything to make it legal, and their having a majority in the Senate that gives them the ability to confirm a (dolphin-safe) tuna sandwich if they want.
The reaction among fiscal conservatives and libertarians to the news that Kagan is a lesbian was, basically, “Meh.” Or, as James Joyner of Outside the Beltway put it in the headline of his post on the reactions of the right and left:
Elena Kagan Lesbian Rumor Smear Neither Smear Nor Rumor.
What they really were worried about was Kagan’s publications and career, which don’t have these conservatives gathering their torches and pitchforks. As a bonus, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went on Fox News on April 25 and promised Republicans would not filibuster Obama’s nominee providing he or she is not a raving Commie crackpot CAIR-bear — his words exactly, I swear — which Kagan is not.
Anti-gay activist social conservative organizations were predictably toxic about Kagan being a lesbian — intrinsically evil therefore ineligible to serve, ya-da-ya-da-ya-da. Yawn.
Well, thank Gaia gays and lesbians can count on the left — the gay-lovin’, gay rights supportin’ left — to have their backs. So how are they taking the news? KA. FREAKING. BOOM! SHAME-A-PALOOZA! The White House announced that Kagan is straight and it is all Bush’s fault if anyone says otherwise. HuffPo has declared war on the “Republican whispering campaign.” Human Rights Campaign is decrying discussion of Kagan’s sexual orientation as being “straight out of the right-wing playbook.”
But wait, there’s more! This isn’t just leftists shaming all lesbians and gays and denying the legitimacy of nominating a member of our minority when representation of diversity is supposedly a fundamental value of leftism. Gays and lesbians are also joining in!
Oh, and no one has interviewed Kagan to ask her to settle the matter. Sigh.