Why Amy Coney Barrett's use of the term 'sexual preference' at her hearing alarmed so many

Early on in Tuesday’s confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett used a term that alarmed many LGBTQ+ people and advocates:

Preferenza sessuale.
Barrett referenced the term when asked about the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which granted the right to same-sex marriagea choice of words that Democratic Suo. Mazie Hirono condemned in a lengthy statement.
Even though you didn’t give a direct answer I think your response did speak volumes,” Hirono said. “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 And let me make clear, sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term.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. It is not.
    She added that if Barrett believedthat sexual orientation is merely a preference,” then the LGBTQ community should berightly concernedwhether the judge would uphold their constitutional right to marry.
    Barrett later apologized for causing offense.
    I certainly didn’t mean, and would never mean, to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBTQ community,” lei disse. “So if I did, I greatly apologize for that.
    Here’s why many people found Barrett’s use of the term concerning.

    It suggests sexual orientation is a choice

    Many LGBTQ people take issue with the term sexual preference because it implies that who a person is romantically and sexually attracted to is merely a matter of personal choicean idea that both advocacy organizations and health professionals have long rejected.
    The word preference suggests a degree of voluntary choice that is not necessarily reported by lesbians and gay men and that has not been demonstrated in psychological research,” the American Psychological Association (APA) notato in a journal article published in 1991.
    Anziché, advocacy groups recommend that people use the term sexual orientation or simply, orientation.
    The term ‘sexual preferenceis typically used to suggest that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is a choice and therefore can and should be ‘cured,'” GLAAD, which lobbies for greater understanding and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in media, Appunti in its media reference guide.
    Sexual orientation is the accurate description of an individual’s enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to members of the same and/or opposite sex and is inclusive of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, as well as straight men and women.
    It’s true that sexual preference and sexual orientation have often been used interchangeably by some nel passato.
    But language is constantly evolving and adapting to reflect the experiences and ideas of those it describes. Terms that might have seemed acceptable even a few years ago may not be viewed as such today.
    Per esempio, as recently as last month, Merriam-Webster included the term sexual preference under its definition of the word “preferenza” to refer to sexual orientation. The dictionary has since updated its entry to reflect the way the term is now interpreted.
    The term sexual preference as used to refer to sexual orientation is widely considered offensive in its implied suggestion that a person can choose who they are sexually or romantically attracted to,” Merriam-Webster says.

    It’s used to validate harmful practices

    Suggesting that sexuality is a preference can also imply that it has the potential to be changed orcured,” an idea often promoted by right-wing Christian groups.
    That’s the thinking behind harmful practices like conversion therapy, che è stato widely debunked by major medical organizations and outlawed by many state and local legislatures.
      Most studies have shown that attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity through therapy doesn’t work, and can actually put them at a greater risk of depression, anxiety or suicide.
      “… Such efforts have serious potential to harm young people because they present the view that the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth is a mental illness or disorder,” the APA and 12 other organizations wrote in a 2008 pubblicazione, “and they often frame the inability to change one’s sexual orientation as a personal and moral failure.

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