Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer
is among the friends who say Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is not
gay, POLITICO reported.
Kagan is President Barrack Obama's pick
to replace outgoing Justice Paul Stevens.
The 50-year-old Kagan has been the
subject of a whisper campaign that she is a lesbian since the White
House announced she was on the short list.
“I did not go out with her,”
Spitzer, who met Kagan at Princeton University, told POLITICO, “but
other guys did.”
“I don't think it is my place to say
more,” he added.
Sarah Walzer, who became a close friend
with Kagan when the pair roomed together in law school, also said
Kagan is not gay: “I've known her for most of her adult life and I
know she's straight.”
“She dated men when we were in law
school,” Walzer added. “She just didn't find the right person.”
The issue turned hot last month when
blogger Ben Domenech, a former Bush administration aide, wrote on a
CBS News blog that 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
Walzer agreed with the White House's
assessment, saying: “There is this assumption that people make at
a single point about women who get to their 40s or 50s and never
marry that it must because they're gay. It's just usually that they
don't get nominated for the Supreme Court and have everybody talking
about them, so nobody really cares.”
Kagan's sexuality, however, is of deep
concern to anti-gay rights groups, who have already begun to mobilize
against her nomination.
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, wasted
no time in labeling Kagan a “radical” who would “impose gay
marriage in all 50 states.”
NOM alleges that Kagan, who as
solicitor general defended the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the
1996 law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union for federal
agencies, purposefully filed a weak legal defense to DOMA.
“A vote for Elena Kagan is a vote for
finding a constitutional right to gay marriage that will overturn
marriage laws in every state,” Maggie Gallagher, president of the
Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, a group apposed to gay
Other groups opposed to gay rights
expressed their opposition to Kagan during her 2009 confirmation as
In a letter written by anti-gay rights
stalwarts the American Family Association and Focus on the Family,
the groups warned senators that Kagan's “extreme rhetoric makes it
highly likely that she also favors same-sex marriage.”
Kagan's support for repeal of “Don't
Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that outlaws gay troops from serving
openly, has also angered social conservatives who want the military
policy to remain.