Americans across the country have tuned in to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom President Donald Trump nominated to the Supreme Court after the death of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Barrett has faced skepticism for her deeply held religious views, particularly on the right to choose and on the rights of LGBTQ people.
Her stances on LGBTQ rights faced increased scrutiny after Barrett used an outdated term to refer to them.
When asked to clarify how she would rule on LGBTQ issues like marriage equality and employment discrimination if they came before the Court, Barrett said:
"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."
While the term "sexual preference" was widely used in the early 2000s, the terminology is considered outdated as the term "preference" implies that one's queerness is a choice—a pervasive falsehood that's been used to justify the persecution of LGBTQ people across the globe.
After a string of viral appearances on Fox News, Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, made waves in the LGBTQ community when he—an out, gay man—came closer to the presidency than any LGBTQ candidate in history.
Buttigieg had the perfect clapback to Barrett's use of the term "sexual preference."
My *preference* is that the winner of this presidential election should choose the next justice.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 13, 2020
Buttigieg said that his "preference," like the majority of Americans, was for the winner of November's presidential election to nominate Ginsburg's replacement.
People applauded Buttigieg's stellar rebuttal.
He's my *preference* for a future President for America. https://t.co/BEEQRTnwDU
— Winston Orozco (@WinstonOrozco_1) October 13, 2020
Pete is an absolute icon https://t.co/wUsP3Rufe9
— Dalton J. Johnson (@the_saltydalty) October 13, 2020
This guy! BOOM! @PeteButtigieg for the win...AGAIN! https://t.co/YvBRzLVwAN
— David Webb (@Mr_Bandman) October 13, 2020
He wasn't the only one to criticize Barrett's use of the term.
The correct term is sexual orientation. "Sexual preference" is a term often used by anti-LGBTQ activists to imply that sexual orientation is a choice. https://t.co/rT6g95gsG1
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 13, 2020
When Amy Coney Barrett refers to LGBTQ people with the term "sexual preference", that's intentional and it's doing two things:
1. It's referring to homosexuality and bisexual as a choice.
2. It's declining to recognize or affirm trans people.
And she'll keep doing this. Watch.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 13, 2020
“Sexual preference." she's a federal judge and she has no idea that that term went out of date 10+ years ago.
— John Aravosis 🇺🇸🇬🇷🏳️🌈 (@aravosis) October 13, 2020
Saying that you have never discriminated against someone because of their “sexual preference" is a sure fire way for others to know you discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.
— Guy Cecil (@guycecil) October 13, 2020
When questioned about her usage of the term during the hearing, Barrett said, "I certainly didn't mean and would never mean to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBTQ community. So if I did, I greatly apologize for that."