Elena Kagan’s Sexual Orientation… Is it a Big Deal or Not?

Lately in the news, there has been much debate about Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation and whether or not it matters when considering her nomination to the Supreme Court. 

A recent article in the Washington Post addressed the issue from both sides of the argument.  Some American’s feel that it is our business to know, while others don’t think that it is relevant to her duties as a future Supreme Court Justice.  In an article for Newsweek, Julia Baird argued that it should not matter what Kagan’s sexual orientation is because it is a private and personal matter and has no bearing on her ability to function as an impartial judge. On the other hand, gay blogger Andrew Sullivan from the Daily Dish contends that it is imperative for society to know the truth, calling the ambiguity “a function of liberal cowardice and conservative discomfort.”  He argues that because Kagan’s sexual orientation could potentially affect her judgment on issues, especially gay rights, the question should be clarified.

These are only a few of the articles out there weighing in on the question of Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation.  Interestingly, the debate doesn’t seem to be as much about whether she is or isn’t a lesbian, but more about the American public having the right to know.  Is a person’s sexual orientation still a personal and private matter when that person happens to be a public official?  Or is privacy suspended when someone enters into a public office and their personal preferences then become our right to know?  Obviously there are logical arguments on both sides of this issue.  Please tell us what you think.

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