Gay City News' Duncan Osborne points to a 1996 memo written by then-Associate White House Counsel Elena Kagan when she worked in the Clinton Administration. The memo urged President Clinton and the Administration to intervene in a case to support religious freedom and social conservatives—and side on behalf of a California landlord who refused to rent to an unmarried couple because it went against her religious beliefs.
The memo, in which she is clearly expressing her own views, was sent to Jack Quinn, then the White House counsel, and Kathy Wallman, Quinn’s deputy counsel. Kagan, currently the solicitor general, authored it after Steve McFarlane, then the legal director at the Christian Legal Society, called her to say that a group of religious organizations would ask the court to review and overturn the California decision. That application was denied in 1997. Joining the society were the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Southern Baptist Convention as well as a coalition of Baptist organizations, the National Council of the Churches of Christ, and the American Jewish Congress. [...]
The memo surfaced Friday in the latest batch of Kagan documents released by the William J. Clinton Library.
Osbourne notes the Supreme Court struck down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by a vote of 6-3 in 1997 and adds: "For lesbian, transgender, bisexual and gay Americans, Kagan’s position is not academic. Religious conservatives have argued that their beliefs should allow them to ignore anti-discrimination laws protecting the queer community."
Michelangelo Signorile says the memo should be a serious concern: "It's imperative that senators ask Kagan specifically about this case and whether or not she still agrees with the sentiments of her '96 memo and what they meant for anti-discrimination laws. And LGBT advocacy groups in Washington had better push them to do so, as well as demand answers from the White House and Kagan about her views on religious freedom and laws protecting gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender Americans."