From the column written by Ann Bradley:
Certainly the first line of Associate Justice Carol Corrigan's obituary will be that, as a lesbian, she wrote one of the two dissenting opinions in the landmark California Supreme Court case to ensure her own community's right to marry. Or to be clear, to use the word "marry." Make no mistake, this case is about that word: "marriage."Hmmm, "as a lesbian" in relation to Justice Corrigan got my Googling juices flowing and, lo and behold, there's plenty out there on the web about her sexual orientation, or, at least plenty of speculation on the matter.
In her dissent in re Marriage Cases, self-proclaimed centrist Corrigan writes, "Californians should allow our gay and lesbian neighbors to call their unions marriages. But I, and this court, must acknowledge that a majority of Californians hold a different view, and have explicitly said so by their vote. This court can overrule a vote of the people only if the Constitution compels us to do so. Here, the Constitution does not. Therefore, I must dissent."
Let's start with an article from the January 5, 2006, edition of the Gay & Lesbian Times of San Diego:
The California Supreme Court will rule this year that the California constitutional guarantee of equal protection requires that the state allow gay and lesbian marriages. Here are my reasons:That LA Times story was also referenced in December 2005 by a Sacramento Bee political blogger, because of Corrigan's claim she's moderate in judicial temperament, but note what he says about locating the story that got the lesbian allegation going:
Just before the holidays, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Carole Corrigan to the California Supreme Court. While completely ignored by the GLBT media, Corrigan is (perhaps) the first lesbian appointed to the California Supreme Court. As the Los Angeles Times reported, she lives in Oakland with her live-in girlfriend. (You do the math.)
UPDATE: An emailer sends along an LA Times story from Oct. 21, which I can't find a link to online, where Corrigan describes herself as a "centrist" in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor.Sure enough, the LA Times profile on Corrigan does not turn up either on the paper's web site or through Googling. However, the American Chronicle blog gave more details about the profile and what it actually said about her house-mate:
Carol Corrigan, as the Los Angeles Times, so coyly informs us in a sentence fragment at the end of a biographical sidebar about the soon-to-be Justice of the California Supreme Court, "[i]s unmarried and shares a house in Oakland with a female friend."Over at the hard-right's Free Republic site, more text from the profile is posted, along with a link to the LA Times piece, but clicking on the link leads to a dead-end.
And the people behind the NNDB.com site, described as "an intelligence aggregator that tracks the activities of people we have determined to be noteworthy, both living and dead," state in sexual orientation line of Corrigan's profile that she's a lesbian. The source? An October 2006 American Family Association newsletter.
Gay activist Peter Cashman in an email to me touches upon how conservatives were all over Corrigan's lesbian orientation, while mainstream gay leaders remained silent on the subject:
She was first outed (that I am aware of) when Arnie nominated for the Supreme Court.Thanks, Peter, for sharing the LA Daily News column with me. It will go a long way toward raising a public discussion on the sexual orientation of Associate Justice Corrigan.
In particular the anti-gay marriage folks and other right-wingers mentioned it widely in opposing her nomination.
In our own community there seems to have been some weird silence in the glowing endorsements from all the usual suspects like EQCA. Was this a conspiracy of silence that we had so often seen before? In so far as prominent queer folks seeking or nominated to public office 'get a pass' to stay in the closet on the basis they will 'do the right thing'.
Jackie Goldberg is an outstanding example of this. In 1994 she ran for LA City Council in the closet until she was 'outed' by the LA Times prior to election day. A group of us had already decided that the days of supporting closet cases was over. We already had a closeted gay man on Council - Joel Wachs. The voters had a right to know.
Gay media and community silence on Corrigan had a notable exception when the Gay & Lesbian Times ran its 2006 article.