In the most recent 60 Minutes / Vanity Fair poll, 55% of respondents said they would support an openly gay Supreme Court justice, and 40% would oppose one.
The poll was limited—five examples with two responses (support or oppose)—but it’s clear that the more politically decisive the role, the fewer people in would support of him/her being openly gay.
Respondents who would support a gay…
- Super Bowl quarterback: 62% (29% oppose)
- Baseball commissioner: 61% (32%)
- Secretary of State: 56% (39%)
- President: 50% (44%)
It’s not a new issue for the High Court. Last summer, there was a fair amount of attention paid to whether frontrunners were openly (or not-openly) gay (via NYMag.com via WSJ Law Blog). And then there’s Justice Souter, who has been in the public grey area of sexual definition for decades, which has led many to assume he is gay.
There’s a big difference between assuming a leader is gay (Condoleeza Rice, Justice Sonia Sotomayor) and electing an openly gay representative (Rep. Barney Frank), as well as supporting a closeted or sexually ambiguous leader and supporting one who is openly gay.
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