Barrett Apologizes for Using the Term 'Sexual Preference' When Describing the LGBTQ Community


Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was confronted by her remarks using the term “sexual preference” when describing the LGBTQ community.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) mentioned Barrett’s earlier remarks when answering Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on protecting rights for gay people to marry and if it is in the Constitution. Barrett said at that time that she has “never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.”

Hirono said during the third day of the confirmation hearings, “Even though you didn’t 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“And let me make clear: ‘sexual preference’ is an offensive and outdated term,” Hirono continued. “It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice.”

Barrett apologized for using the term, saying during the hearing, “I certainly didn’t mean and would never mean to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBTQ community.”

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The judge added, “So if I did, I greatly apologize for that. I simply meant to be referring to Obergefell’s holding with respect to same-sex marriage.”

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Hirono questioned Barrett during Tuesday’s hearing where she asked the judge if she “ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature.”

“No, Senator Hirono,” Barrett responded.

“Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?” Hirono also asked.

Barrett answered, “No, senator.”

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