Tennessee Third Congressional District candidate Chuck Fleischmann has released anti-gay comments regarding President Barack Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.

While Kagan, who currently serves as the U.S. Solicitor General, has endured years of speculation regarding her own sexual preference, she has in the past been a vocal proponent of gay rights on college campuses and for her opposition to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Fleischmann, who is seeking the seat being vacated by Rep. Zach Wamp as he runs for governor, also called Kagan’s qualifications into question because she has never served as a judge.

The statement he released said that “Ms. Kagan’s anti-military record while Dean of Harvard Law School, including her direction to stop providing help to military recruiters on campus, due to her opposition of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and support of gay rights, is disturbing. Her opposition to restricting federal funding to groups who promote or perform abortions is equally disturbing. These positions alone should make any senator weary [sic] of supporting Ms. Kagan.”

“Along with her troubling history, her lack of an extensive record due to little time in the courtroom, and no time on the judicial bench, should convince each senator on the committee just how important her confirmation hearing is. Ms. Kagan is due a fair hearing, but also a tough hearing; the American people need the facts about the individual President Obama has nominated to a lifetime position on the nation’s highest court,” his statement read.

The anti-gay portion of his remarks drew fire from Chris Sanders, outgoing board chair of the Tennessee Equality Project, who posted on TEP's Facebook page that ‘We must fight back against every instance of anti-GLBT campaigning this year to send a message that it is not acceptable.”

Sanders urged readers to contact Fleischmann and "tell him to apologize for attacking the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community and to support the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Ask him why he thinks people should lie and hide to serve our country.”

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