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Gay legal activists applaud Kagan nomination, cautiously

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President Obama’s announcement of Elena Kagan as his next Supreme Court pick drew applause, but some words of caution, from some LGBT legal activists on Monday.

The good news is that President Obama chose perhaps the most gay friendly candidate from his short list of potential nominees to be the next appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But gay legal activists left room to worry in their praise of that nominee –Solicitor General Elena Kagan.

Kagan took sides with gays against military recruiters when she was dean of Harvard University’s Law School. But, says Haley Gorenberg of Lambda Legal, she’s also defended laws that hurt gays.

Gorenberg: “She’s a top lawyer in the Obama administration. And that administration, under her, has taken legal positions on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and also the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, that we very strongly disagree with at Lambda Legal.”

Kagan is of particular interest to the LGBT community for another reason too: a CBS News blog post last month claimed she would, if confirmed, be the first “openly gay justice.” Kagan has never identified as gay or straight and the White House said the CBS blog was “inaccurate.”

But rumors like that –coming at least in part from Kagan being 50 and unmarried—are bound to increase scrutiny of her position on another federal law during confirmation: the Defense of Marriage Act.

–Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

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Written by OutQ News staff

May 10, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Posted in Law, White House

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