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Whoopi Defends Making Joke About Lindsey Graham's Sexuality On 'The View' After Backlash

Whoopi Defends Making Joke About Lindsey Graham's Sexuality On 'The View' After Backlash
The View/YouTube; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Whoopi Goldberg defended a joke she made about South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham's sexuality on The View after she was accused of being homophobic.

Last week, Goldberg made a joke about Graham’s sexuality during a conversation with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who spoke at length about a bill Graham introduced earlier this month that would institute a federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Graham had previously said reproductive rights should be left up to state legislatures to decide. His decision to introduce the bill—effectively taking the decision away from the states—prompted Jean-Pierre to wonder "what changed."

To considerable laughter from the audience, Goldberg responded:

“Well, maybe he’s getting married?"
"Do it quick because I know people are fooling around with our marriage rights, wherever you stand.”

You can watch the moment in the video below.

White House Press Sec. Discusses reproductive freedom, Lindsey Graham| The

Afterward, Goldberg clarified her joke about Graham's sexuality “was a joke, nothing more than that."

She added:

“I just got a whole conversation about people misunderstanding the joke. I mean, OK."
“I should probably never do this show again, if this is what it’s coming to. It was a joke, guys.”

Graham's sexuality is an open secret in Washington despite numerous attempts over the years to bat away questions about his personal life.

In 2020, The Washington Post published a piece about allegations brought forward by gay porn star and escort Sean Harding, who said he had met with Graham more than once.

Harding said Graham was known as "Lady Graham" and the abbreviated "Lady G" among fellow sex workers, a claim that caused the hashtags #LadyGraham and #LadyG to trend on social media.

Many have come to Goldberg's defense.

Graham has never been married and has no children.

A Southern Baptist, he is a member of the Corinth Baptist Church and has for years supported efforts to roll back LGBTQ+ rights.

In the 1990s, he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act and reiterated his support for it earlier this year amid an ongoing effort by Democrats to codify marriage equality for LGBTQ+ people into law.

These efforts received more notice after Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said the Court should reconsider established gay rights and contraception rights now that SCOTUS revoked the constitutional right to an abortion per the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade.