WASHINGTON – As Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett faced her second day of Senate confirmation hearings Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., grilled the judge on whether she would “vote to roll back hard-fought freedoms and protections for the LGBT community.”
“I have no agenda,” Barrett replied. “I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.”
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That choice of words prompted swift pushback from some critics, who said that the phrase “sexual preference,” as used by Barrett, suggested that same-sex attraction is simply a choice – one that can be changed under enough pressure.
Among those raising concern was Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who accused the judge of using the phrase intentionally, instead of the more widely accepted “sexual orientation.”
“It’s used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice,” the senator said in an exchange that swiftly went viral. “It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person’s identity.”