Asked If Catholic Church Could Recruit at Harvard Law Even Though It Bans Female Priests, Kagan Said All Recruiters Needed to Certify They Did Not Discriminate By Gender
July 1, 2010 - 7:06 PMWhen asked if the Catholic Church would have been allowed to recruit at Harvard Law School even though the church bans female priests, Kagan said that all recruiters at the school were required to sign a form saying they did not discriminate on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.
During her recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kagan was questioned several times about her decision to ban the U.S. military from Harvard Law School’s Office of Career Services. Kagan said she was merely applying the school’s non-discrimination policy and was not targeting the U.S. military recruiters.
While at Harvard, Kagan prohibited the U.S. military from using school resources because she claimed the military’s ban against open homosexuals – the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” -- violated the school’s policy. The policy says that prospective employers who would recruit on campus cannot discriminate based upon sexual orientation, among other criteria.
On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Kagan whether she would have applied the same policy to the Catholic Church, if it were looking to recruit and hire lawyers on Harvard’s campus.
The Catholic Church does not allow women to become priests, Graham noted. Catholic teaching, incidentally, also says that homosexual behavior is sinful.
The exchange between Sen. Graham and Kagan occurred as follows:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.): “Would it [the Harvard policy] apply to the Catholic Church, if they wanted to come and recruit lawyers from the law school because they don't have women priests?”
Solicitor General Elena Kagan: “Well, the way we enforced this policy is if an employer comes, we give the employer a form, and the form basically says, 'I comply with the following policy' that says, 'I will not discriminate on the basis of.' And then it says something like race and creed and gender and sexual orientation and actually veterans’ status as well. And if the employer signs the form, the employer can get the services of the Office of Career Services. And if not, not [get them].”
The Office of Career Services is the office that coordinates between students and prospective employers, and was the office from which Kagan banned the U.S. military and its recruiters