Barrett Dodges On LGBTQ Rights & Marriage Equality “I Can’t, I’m Sorry”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) brought up LGBTQ rights and specifically marriage equality during today’s confirmation hearing with Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Feinstein asked Barrett whether she believes marriage equality is settled law, but Barrett dodged on giving a clear answer. In public comments, Barrett has previously made it known she did not support the 2015 Obergefell ruling which made marriage equality legal across the U.S.

She also believes Title IX doesn’t protect transgender people on the basis of sex discrimination.

In responding today, Barrett used the anti-LGBTQ phrase “sexual preference” in referencing sexual orientation indicating that she believes it is a choice. The catchphrase is popular among those who oppose LGBTQ rights and maintain queer people could just choose to be straight if they wanted to.

Here is a clip of Sen. Feinstein asking the judge about her thoughts on both the Defense of Marriage ruling which SCOTUS struck down as well as the Obergefell decision.

Feinstein: “Both decisions were decided by a 5-4 margin. Justice Ginsburg was in the majority. Justice Scalia dissented in both cases. 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 U.S. Constitution does not afford gay people the fundamental right to marry?”

Judge Barrett: “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.

“Now, 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 really a fundamental point for large numbers of people 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 that 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.”

Trump Rants Over Legally Released Testimony Proving Russian Investigation Is Not A Hoax

Donald Trump is very, very mad that Sen. Dianne Feinstein chose to release the testimony of Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS co-founder, to prove that the now-infamous “dossier” was NOT the political motivation behind the inquiry into Mr. Trump or his campaign.

For months, Republicans have pushed the theory that the dossier compiled by former intelligent agent Christopher Steele was the reason U.S. intelligence agencies began investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 campaign. In that there are some sections that have not been corroborated yet, Repubs say “See? Fake dossier – fake investigation!”

But, as Simpson’s testimony shows, U.S. intel had already been tipped to much of what was in the Steele report before it came to light and was already working on the case.

There goes the “fake investigation” theory.

Watch now as the GOP stamps its feet and whines.

To be clear: nothing Feinstein released was classified information. While Little Hands Donnie might try to spin to his base that she’s broken laws, ’tis not the case.

By the way, “Sneaky?”

That’s all you got, Donnie? “Sneaky?”

Only a year in and you’re out of clever nicknames? #Sad

Lack of LGBT inclusion in immigration reform leads to outrage by advocates

LGBT advocates are growing increasingly upset as it appears Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) seem ready to allow LGBT inclusive language to be left out of immigration reform.

From Lavi Soloway at The DOMA PROJECT:

Despite hearing from tens of thousands of constituents in recent weeks, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) have not budged. They will refuse to vote for either amendment, and as a result, Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, will likely not call either of his LGBT amendments (the one based on the Uniting American Families Act, which I helped write 14 years ago, or his historic and unexpected Marriage Equality “DOMA Carve Out” exception) for a vote knowing that the amendment will fail to garner the necessary 10 out of 10 Democratic votes to pass out of Committee.

The betrayal of our community by Senator Schumer who voted for DOMA as a member of the House and fought for gay votes when he ran for Senate despite HRC’s controversial endorsement of his incumbent opponent, Republican Alphonse D’Amato, is appalling to put it mildly. After all his promises to fight for LGBT inclusion, he has signaled day after day that he won’t upset the bipartisan Gang of Eight applecart. Dianne Feinstein, who, 35 years ago, became Mayor of San Francisco after the assassination of Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk, has once again failed to provide leadership when the going got tough. Her leadership on the repeal of DOMA (Respect for Marriage Act) notwithstanding, this was the moment that counted. This was the moment that required courage and leadership.

The most vulnerable members of our community relied on Senator Schumer and Senator Feinstein to stand up for us and end decades of catastrophic and irreparable harm to our families caused by DOMA and our exclusion from US immigration law.

Today, it seems clear, they will betray us.

Sen. Feinstein on passage of Respect for Marriage Act in Senate committee

“Virtually any advance in civil rights or any kind of rights has been carried by the Democratic Party. It’s just a fact. So, we’ll just march on. We’ll continue this. And if I have to reintroduce it next session, I’ll reintroduce it. Session after that, I’ll reintroduce it.”

– Senator Dianne Feinstein on the  Respect for Marriage Act that passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week