Social conservatives are calling on
Congress to reject several of President Obama's picks to the
Department of Justice, including the No. 2 position of deputy
attorney general, because they support gay and lesbian equality and
the right of a woman to have an abortion.
Republicans on Capital Hill grilled
David Ogden, nominated to be the deputy attorney general, at length
about those issues at his Thursday confirmation hearing, reports The
Ogden filed a brief in support of the
gay defendants at the center of the 2004 Supreme Court case Lawrence
v. Texas which declared sodomy laws unconstitutional. Ogden has
also defended organizations that support the right of a woman to seek
“You've taken some very extraordinary
positions, some left-leaning and unorthodox positions,” Senator Jon
Kyl, a Republican from Arizona, told Ogden.
Evangelical groups, including the
ardently anti-gay Focus on the Family and the American Family
Association, have objected to Ogden's nomination.
Similar concerns are being expressed
over the nomination of Elena Kagan to Solicitor General. Kagan, who
is openly gay, is being denounced for her support of open service for
gay military personnel. The military's so-called “don't ask, don't
tell” policy instituted sixteen years ago by President Bill Clinton
requires gay and lesbian military personnel to remain closeted and
celibate or face discharge. Opponents of repeal say open gay service
would “sexualize” the military. The Obama administration website
(WhiteHouse.gov) lists the president in agreement with removing the
Conservatives also object to Justice
Dept. nominees Dawn Johnson, an Indiana University professor, for
her support of reproductive rights and Thomas J. Perrelli, who acted
as counsel for Michael Schiavo in obtaining permission to end the
life of his brain-damaged
wife, Terri Schiavo.
Writing at the Dakota Voice, social
conservative Bob Ellis said Obama was stocking the Department with
people who come from the “culture of death.” “These nominees
advocate abortion, euthanasia, and the promotion of a sexual practice
linked to unhealthy and even deadly consequences,” Ellis wrote.