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 Associated Press.

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 an abortion.

“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 ( lists the president in agreement with removing the anti-gay law.

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.