On Tuesday, Democrats attacked Judge Amy Coney Barrett for using the term “sexual preference” at her confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court, with Hawaii Democrat senator Mazie Hirono snapping, “Sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term.” Other Democrats also carped at Coney Barrett for using the term.
Let me make clear – sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term.
To suggest sexual orientation is a choice? It's not. It's a key part of a person's identity.
The LGBTQ+ community should be concerned with #WhatsAtStake with Judge Barrett on the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/4TWyATMX0Y
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) October 13, 2020
The Democrats ignored the fact that their own presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, used the very same term in May at a virtual roundtable with African American representatives in Florida, stating:
America’s the only nation in the world that when we’ve gone through a major crisis, we’ve almost always been able to come get through it and come out stronger. I’m hopeful. I’m going to need you if we win. I’m going to need you to help this time rebuild the backbone of this country, the middle class, but this time bring everybody along regardless of color, sexual preference, their backgrounds, whether they have any … Just bring everybody along.
The Left said Amy Coney Barrett was bigoted because she used the term "sexual preference."
Here's Joe Biden using the same term in May. pic.twitter.com/u7k4MqHCSU
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) October 13, 2020
The Washington Post admitted, “Plenty of figures on the left — including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Barrett is hoping to replace on the high court — have also used the phrase, which was considered acceptable as recently as a decade or two ago.”
The Washington Free Beacon released a video of Biden, other Democrats, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg using the term “sexual preference”:
Barrett later apologized for using the term “sexual preference,” asserting, “I certainly didn’t mean and would never mean to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBTQ community.”
At the hearing, there was this exchange between California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein and Coney Barrett:
Feinstein: Now, you said in your acceptance speech for this nomination, that Justice Scalia’s philosophy is your philosophy. Do you agree with this particular point of Justice Scalia’s view that the US Constitution does not afford gay people the fundamental right to marry?
Barrett: Senator Feinstein, as I said to Senator Graham at the outset, if I were confirmed, you would be getting Justice Barrett, not Justice Scalia. So I don’t think that anybody should assume that just because justice Scalia decided a decision a certain way, that I would too, but I’m not going to express a view on whether I agree or disagree with Justice Scalia, for the same reasons that I’ve been giving. Justice Ginsburg with her characteristic pithiness used this to describe how a nominee should comport herself at a hearing: “No hints, no previews, no forecasts.” That had been the practice of nominees before her, but everybody calls it the Ginsburg Rule because she stated it so concisely, and it’s been the practice of every nominee since. So I can’t, and I’m sorry to not be able to embrace or disavow Justice Scalia’s position, but I really can’t do that on any point of law.
Feinstein: Well, that’s really too bad because it’s rather a fundamental point for large numbers of people, I think in this country. I understand you don’t want to answer these questions directly, but you identify yourself with a justice that, you, like him, would be a consistent vote to roll back hard-fought freedoms and protections for the LGBT community. And what I was hoping you would say is that this would be a point of difference where those freedoms would be respected, and you haven’t said that.
Barrett: Senator, 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. Like racism, I think discrimination is important. On the questions of law, however, I just, because I’m a sitting judge and because you can’t answer questions without going through the judicial process, can’t give answers to those very specific questions.