Amy Coney Barrett uses the offensive term 'sexual preference' to refer to LGBTQ people, who she falsely claims she's never discriminated against

Amy Coney Barrett uses the offensive term 'sexual preference' to refer to LGBTQ people, who she falsely claims she's never discriminated against
Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks as President Trump announces her nomination of as his choice for associate justice of the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden of the White House on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • At her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, the Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett used the widely denounced term "sexual preference" to refer to LGBTQ Americans' sexual orientations.
  • LGBTQ-rights organizations and others quickly pointed out that the correct term is "sexual orientation" and that anti-LGBTQ activists used "preference" to suggest that gender identity and sexual orientation are choices.
  • Barrett refused to say whether she agreed with the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutionally protected right.
  • Barrett also falsely claimed that she had "never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference." She sat on the board of an Indiana private school that barred children of unmarried couples when same-sex marriage was illegal in the state, The New York Times reported.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, used the widely denounced term "sexual preference" to refer to LGBTQ Americans' sexual orientations during her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, sparking widespread criticism from LGBTQ-rights advocates and others.

Barrett refused to say whether she agreed with the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex marriage is a constitutionally protected right.

Barrett said recently that she held the same judicial philosophy as the conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she clerked in the late 1990s. Scalia dissented in the Obergefell case.
Advertisement
"I have no agenda, and I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference," Barrett said in response to questioning about Obergefell on Tuesday. "Like racism, I think discrimination is abhorrent."

LGBTQ-rights organizations and others quickly pointed out that the correct term is "sexual orientation" and that anti-LGBTQ activists often used "preference" to falsely claim that gender identity and sexual orientation are choices.

"This is a dogwhistle," Lambda Legal, a top LGBTQ-rights legal-advocacy organization, tweeted. "The term 'sexual preference' is used by opponents of equality to suggest that being #LGBTQ is a choice."
Advertisement

Critics also pointed out that Barrett had, in fact, discriminated against LGBTQ people.

From 2015 to 2017, Barrett served on the board of trustees of Trinity Schools Incorporated, a group of Indiana private schools that in 2014 adopted a policy of barring children with unmarried parents from attending the school, The New York Times reported. Former Trinity staffers told The Times that because same-sex marriage was banned in Indiana at the time, this was clearly designed to bar the children of same-sex couples.On Tuesday, Barrett elaborated on her originalist interpretation of the Constitution.
Advertisement

"The text is text, and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it," she said. "It does not change over time, and it is not up to me to update it or infuse my own views into it."

{{}}