Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

LGBT issues front and center on Barrett hearing second day
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service
2020-10-14

This article shared 2070 times since Wed Oct 14, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


LGBT issues were front and center in Day Two of the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, with Democrats and even a few Republicans attempting to clarify how she might approach such issues on the high court.

And though Barrett betrayed little Tuesday of what she might be expected to do on same-sex marriage or transgender access, she caught the attention of many when she referred to LGBT people as having a "sexual preference." When U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono ( D-Hawaii ) criticized her later in the hearing, noting that "sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term," Barrett apologized.

The term "sexual preference," said Hirono, "is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person's identity."

Barrett said she "certainly didn't mean and would never mean to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBTQ community."

Senator Patrick Leahy ( D-Vt. ) questioned Barrett's association with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a national group that has mounted numerous lawsuits seeking to reverse legal protections for LGBT people, many of which have been appealed to the Supreme Court. Barrett accepted five invitations to speak before the organization.

"Whether you believe being gay is right or wrong is irrelevant to me," said Leahy, "but my concern is you worked with an organization that is working to criminalize people for loving a person that they are in love with."

Barrett said her presentations concerned "regionalism" and she was speaking to a group of Christian law students.

"I did not read all of the materials the students were given to read," said Barrett.

Leahy asked Barrett whether she feels same-sex marriage should be a crime. Barrett replied that the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell "clearly says that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage."

Obergefell v. Hodges was the Supreme Court's 2015 decision which struck down state bans on same-sex couples from marrying.

"And you agree with that stare decisis?" asked Leahy. Stare decisis is a legal principle that holds courts should decide disputes based on prior decisions. Barrett said it would be inappropriate for her to "give a thumbs up or thumbs down on a particular precedent."

The Obergefell decision came up time and time again during Tuesday's hearing.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham ( R-SC ) was the first to bring it up as he led off the first round of questions. After questioning Barrett about abortion and guns, he asked her, "What's the case that established same-sex marriage as the law of the land?"

Obergefell, said Barrett.

Graham asked Barrett what would happen if some state "tried to outlaw same-sex marriage" now. She said that, if a case challenged Obergefell, it would have to go through the lower courts first.

"And the most likely result," said Barrett, "would be that the lower courts, who are bound by Obergefell, would shut such a lawsuit down and it wouldn't make its way up to the Supreme Court."

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein ( D-Calif. ), the committee's ranking minority member, talked about a well-known activist couple in San Francisco —Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon—and noted that Lyon had been denied Social Security survivor benefits when Martin died in 2008 because of DOMA. Feinstein noted that Barrett has said that the legal philosophy espoused by then Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ( for whom Barrett clerked ) "is your philosophy."

"Do you agree with Justice Scalia's view that the U.S. Constitution does not afford gay people the fundamental right to marry?" asked Feinstein.

Barrett reiterated a remark she made earlier, with Graham, that if she is 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," said Barrett. Then she tried to side-step the question, saying that it would be in appropriate for her, as a nominee, to "embrace or disavow Justice Scalia's position …on any point of law."

Feinstein, in uncharacteristic form, did not let Barrett off the hook.

"Well, it's a rather fundamental point for large numbers of people," said Feinstein. "I understand you don't want to answer these questions directly, but you identify yourself with a justice that [was] 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."

"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," said Barrett.

Even Senator John Cornyn ( R-Tex. ) brought up LGBT issues, noting that President Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, had been attacked during his confirmation hearing for his "unwillingness to make a prior commitment on LGBT issues."

"He wrote the Bostock case extending Title VII of the Civil Rights to gay or transgender individuals," said Cornyn. "Obviously, those predictions were wrong."

Cornyn then brought up Obergefell, noting that it allowed same-sex marriage but then adding that "part of that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, correct?"

Barrett replied, "Yes, I believe so." ( It didn't. The Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in 2013 with U.S. v. Windsor. )

"That was a bill that Joe Biden voted for?" asked Cornyn.

"I don't know," said Barrett.

"I do," said Cornyn. "Joe Biden voted for it."

Cornyn was not the only senator trying to score a political point for the Republican side. Nearly every senator did, including the Democrats.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse ( D-RIs. ) spent all of his 30-minute time allotment to lay out evidence of "an orchestrated campaign by conservative Republican groups to influence the selection of justices with the stated objective and plan" to seek reversal of Obergefell, Roe v. Wade, and the Affordable Care Act.

Throughout the day, Barrett dodged questions seeking to determine her willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade or the ACA. She also said she can set aside her Catholic beliefs in deciding cases. And when it came to questions about whether she would recuse herself from any upcoming case that might decide a conflict in the presidential election, Barrett had a well-prepared answer. She said she would "fully and faithfully" apply laws relating to recusal and will "apply the factors that other justices have before me in determining whether the circumstances require my recusal or not."

"But I can't offer a legal conclusion right now," said Barrett, "about the outcome of the decision I would reach."

© 2020 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


This article shared 2070 times since Wed Oct 14, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Patrick J. Kennedy to receive award from Trilogy at virtual gala
2021-09-18
Chicago-based Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare will present its Partner in Recovery Award to The Kennedy Forum founder, mental-health advocate and former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy as a part of its virtual 50th-anniversary gala on Thursday, Oct. 21. ...


Gay News

Polis marriage marks first same-sex wedding of sitting governor
2021-09-17
On Sept. 15, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wed longtime partner Marlon Reis—marking the first same-sex marriage of a sitting U.S. governor, NPR reported. Polis keeps making history. In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay ...


Gay News

Hastert settles sexual-abuse lawsuit
2021-09-16
Days before a trial was set to begin, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reached a tentative settlement in a hush-money lawsuit filed by a man whose decades-old sexual-abuse allegations led to the politician's downfall six ...


Gay News

Now, only five of Chicago's 50 aldermen reject automatic pay raises
2021-09-16
Forty-five out of 50 Chicago aldermen have opted to accept a 5.5% pay increase in 2022 that will push the highest paid among them to an annual salary of more than $130,000, according to The Chicago Tribune. ...


Gay News

Chicago alderman apologizes for 'offensive words'
2021-09-15
Jim Gardiner, alderman of Chicago's 45th Ward, apologized during the Sept. 14 Chicago City Council meeting for his "offensive words" but said he "never acted on any of those rants" in which he appeared to call ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois
2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...


Gay News

Gavin Newsom wins Calif. recall election
2021-09-15
On Sept. 14, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom defeated a GOP-backed effort to remove him from office, media outlets reported. Speaking from Sacramento, Newsom thanked Californians for rejecting the recall effort, according to CNN.com. He also ...


Gay News

Catholic theologians urge protections for LGBTQ+ people
2021-09-14
More than 750 of the nation's leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars, educators and writers have joined New Ways Ministry in voicing support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to a New Ways press release. ...


Gay News

'Homophile' organization New Gay Liberation Front launches
2021-09-13
The New Gay Liberation Front—which described itself in a press release as a "homophile organization"—has launched. "Homophile" is a term that was used by some gay and lesbian groups in the 1950s. According to the University ...


Gay News

Men Having Babies surrogacy conference on Oct. 9
2021-09-13
The Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. According to a press statement, more than 100 (vaccinated!) ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
2021-09-12
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...


Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards
2021-09-12
In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to out.com. According to police ...


Gay News

Women & Children First hosting virtual event with Anita Hill on Sept. 29
2021-09-11
Anita Hill—the University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University who played a major role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas—will be part ...


Gay News

Lightfoot attends 'Parade of Hearts' public-art installation series launch
2021-09-09
--From a press release - CHICAGO (September 8, 2021) — The Love, Unity & Values (LUV) Institute, a Chicago non-profit, unveiled a new series of neighborhood art installations Sept. 8 to launch the Parade of Hearts, an initiative to commemorate the ...


Gay News

Chicago neighborhood nonprofits join forces to provide free attorneys
2021-09-07
Four Chicago neighborhood nonprofits—LCLC (Lawndale Christian Legal Center), Breakthrough, BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) and New Life Centers—have formed a partnership to assign free ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.