President Barack Obama will nominate US Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, the New York Times reported. Kagan is a strong gay ally.

Kagan, 50, will replace retiring Justice Paul Stevens.

During her 2009 confirmation as solicitor general, only 7 Republicans backed her. Social conservatives attacked her as too liberal, arguing that she most likely supports giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.

“Ms. Kagan's extreme rhetoric makes it highly likely that she also favors same-sex marriage, both as a matter of policy and as a supposed federal constitutional right,” opponents – including anti-gay rights stalwarts the American Family Association and Focus on the Family – warned in a letter.

In a blog post, the anti-gay rights group Family Research Council helmed by influential social conservative Tony Perkins prayed against the confirmation of various Obama nominees, including Kagan: “Please pray over these nominees. May God move to prevent confirmation of those who will do harm [to] our nation! May He restrain those who Senate conservatives have little power to prevent from confirmation!”

As proof they cite a 2005 Supreme Court challenge to an appellate ruling that permitted law schools to limit the military's presence at campus recruiting events. Kagan was one of 40 Harvard Law School professors who signed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the ruling.

The brief argued that the military's “don't ask, don't tell” policy that bans gay troops from serving openly violates the legal profession's anti-discriminatory policies.

Kagan called the policy “a profound wrong – a moral injustice of the first order,” in a an email to faculty and students, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Supreme Court unanimously disagreed with the lower court ruling.

In a written follow-up to her Senate confirmation hearing, Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, asked Kagan her views on gay marriage. “There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage,” she responded.

Rumors that Kagan is gay also began to swirl when her name was first mentioned as a possible candidate.

In a CBS News item, blogger Ben Domenech, a former Bush administration aide, wrote if picked Kagan would be the “first openly gay justice.” Saying he was “applying old stereotypes to single women with successful careers, the White House chided Domenech, who apologized for the posting, but refused to retract the allegation.

Supreme Court justices are appointed for life.