As we reported on Tuesday, At Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Senator Dianne Feinstein grilled SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett on whether she thinks marriage equality is protected. Barrett wouldn’t say, and also used the anti-LGBTQ buzzphrase “sexual preference” to describe orientation, indicating that she believes it is a choice.
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) laid into Barrett later in the day.
Said Hirono: “Even though you did not give a direct answer, I think your response did speak volumes. Not once but twice you used the term ‘sexual preference’ to describe those in the LGBTQ community. And let me make clear, ‘sexual preference’ is an offensive and outdated term. It is used by anti-LGTBQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person’s identity.”
“That ‘sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable’ was a key part of the majority’s opinion in Obergefell,” Hirono continued. “Which, by the way, Scalia did not agree with. So if it is your view that sexual orientation is merely a ‘preference,’ then the LGBT community should be rightly concerned whether you would uphold their constitutional right to marry.”
“I don’t think that you used the term ‘sexual preference’ as, I don’t think it was an accident,” Hirono added. “And one of the legacies of Justice Scalia and his particular brand of originalism is a resistance to recognizing those in the LGBT community as having equal rights under our Constitution.”
Barrett apologized for using the term “sexual preference.”