Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Does It Even Matter If Elena Kagan Is Gay?

Lady Z's 2 Cents:                                                                                                   

Whether Elena Kagan is gay is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS PEOPLE!  (BTW - She's not gay).  Come on, it's 2010, what people  do in the privacy of their homes (as long as it is legal) is not our business.  I have such a problem with the fact that this question is even being asked.  Does she *look* gay because she has short hair?  Is it because she doesn't look like a barbie?  So what if she is unmarried without children.  There are alot of people that way and like blogger Jon Pitts-Wiley said earlier today, plenty of panels are convened about why there are so many black professional single women but they are called pathetic, inimidating, and picky instead of gay.  Phew what a relief!  That is unless there was anything wrong with being gay or if it were anybody's flipping business to begin with.  I say it is NO ONE'S BUSINESS.  Not mine.  Not yours.  Not anyones. 

Why does it matter?  A gay justice is going to be more or less fair if an issue of same sex marriage comes before the court?  If you even begin to answer that question then you a missing the point.  It shouldn't matter!  What this really is for me is sexism plan and simple.  This woman opted for the law degree and prestigious clerkship with Thurgood Marshall and perhaps either chose not to or was unable to get married to a person of her chosing whether male or female.  I mean what's the next revelation to come out an interview with a boyfriend who is like Elena is not gay we had sex?  C'mon son.

■She kicked military recruiters off the Harvard Law campus because of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
■She looks like a lesbian.
■She's single and childless, has been known to smoke cigars and play poker.
■She looks like a lesbian.
■Jeffrey Toobin won't say whether she brought a date to his wedding.

That's it. You could make a better case that Kagan is simply a celibate workaholic, given the paucity of information that's leaked out about her personal life thus far.

Again this is no one's business.  But hey just for fun let's throw out a suggestion for what Kagan could say if asked by one of the male Senator's on the Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearing:

Senator White Man:  "There have been numerous reports in the media that you are gay.  Ms. Kagan are you a lesbian?"

Elena Kagan: "[Smile and calmly say] Are you gay sir?  I know that you are married, but that does not mean you are not gay in the cover of night right?  What I will say is that, my private business is my private business, and it is overreaching for you sir to try to peak into this aspect of my private life with America watching.  No sir, I am not gay, but even if I was my sexual preferences have nothing to do with how I will do my job as a Justice on the nation's highest court.  Next question please."

That's all I can get out for now without switching to all caps as a representation of my furor over this discussion even taking place at all.

Is this question even relevant or is asking it completely out of bounds?

The Janitor's 2 Observation:                                                                            

So is Kagan's sexuality any of our business?  I submit that, in the abstract, it is of no consequence whether Elena Kagan is a lesbian or not in terms of her ability to be an effective Justice on the Supreme Court.  To ask her that question is to accept that identity politics plays a role on the bench (gasp).  So I find it ironic that the people who are vehemently against the notion that identity politics has any place on the Court (the Right) are the same people who are making Kagan's sexual identity an issue.  Go figure. With regard to the concern that gay/lesbian issues may come across her desk, how is our knowing her sexuality going to inform our decision on how she will vote?  It doesn't.  If it were that simple, we could all safely assume that Clarence Thomas will vote in favor of all things Black by virtue of him being Black.  And as we ALL know, that is far from the case with Thomas.

Therefore, the relevant question is not whether Kagan herself is a lesbian but whether or not she has a tangible track record of bias either for or against the gay/lesbian community, which ties into ferreting out her character as a Justice.  Sure, no question should be off limits for a candidate for the Supreme Court, but the question should be relevant to how or if the Justice will function on the Court.  Knowing Kagan's sexual orientation does little to take us from A to B in that regard.
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