Trump's SCOTUS Pick Said Marriage is Founded on the Relationship Between 'A Man and a Woman'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday September 23, 2020

Trump's SCOTUS Pick Said Marriage is Founded on the Relationship Between 'A Man and a Woman'
  (Source:Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP, File)

Trump's SCOTUS Pick Said Marriage is Founded on the Relationship Between 'A Man and a Woman'

Concerns continue to mount around what seem to be the anti-LGBTQ views of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, viewed as a likely pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18. Chief amongst them is a letter that Barrett signed onto in 2015 addressed to Catholic "Synod Fathers" from "Catholic Women," which said, in part, that "marriage and family [are] founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman."

Also of concern is Barrett's membership in a charismatic Catholic organization called People of Praise, which until recently regarded women as the "handmaidens" of their husbands, Newsweek reports. The group is said to monitor the lives and relationships of its members. News outlets report that People of Praise also operates high schools and middle schools that teach that marriage is "a legal and committed relationship between a man and a woman and believe that the only proper place for sexual activity is within these bounds of conjugal love," and bans any discussion by students of their own sexual identity, declaring it to be "unwise" for "teens to prematurely interpret any particular emotional experience as identity-defining."

Barrett, 48, is a professor at Notre Dame Law School and one of a handful of women that President Trump is considering to nominate as Ginsburg's replacement, reports UK newspaper the Independent.

Barrett was seen as a possible replacement for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired in 2018. Kennedy's swing vote for marriage equality was crucial in the 2015 Supreme Court finding that same-sex couples have a Constitutional right to legal marriage equality. Trump reportedly said at the time, though, that he was "saving" Barrett as a replacement for Ginsburg.

Trump nominated Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017. During her confirmation hearings, Forbes recalled, Sen. Dianne Feinstein expressed concern about whether Coney Barrett's religious faith would unduly influence her jurisprudence. Feinstein famously told Coney Barrett that the church's "dogma lives loudly within you," adding. "that's of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country."

Barrett answered that she would "never impose my own personal convictions upon the law," but critics have taken note of the fact that in identifying past Supreme Court decisions she regards as "super precedents" — that is, rulings that she would not consider it appropriate to reverse, regardless of her own beliefs — Barrett did not specify any rulings that directly affected LGBTQ Americans.

Critics have also taken note of a lecture that Barrett gave to her Notre Dame students in which she said that a career in law "is but a means to an end," with the objective being "building the Kingdom of God," reports The Times of Israel.

President Trump has vowed to nominate Ginsburg's replacement on Sept. 26. Only two Republican lawmakers — Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski — have voiced reservations about replacing a Supreme Court justice in an election year, despite Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell's refusal, in February 2016, to entertain then-President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Republicans have enough votes in the Senate to proceed with a confirmation vote once Trump submits his nomination, reports the BBC.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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