The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett have raised many eyebrows this week, mainly for the things Coney Barrett has refused to say: The prospective Justice has declined to answer nearly every question she's been asked about how she would interpret the law, Constitution and legal precedents.
Until, that is, Senator Lindsey Graham asked Coney Barrett a hypothetical question about polygamy in the same breath as he asked about same-sex marriage, seemingly endeavoring to conflate the two.
And people on Twitter were outraged.
Coney Barrett has repeatedly refused to give her opinion on same-sex marriage or her perspective on whether or not Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court case that decided the issue, might be repealable, saying that she would have to decide based on the case put before her.
Graham engaged Barrett in precisely this line of questioning today, in which both parties agreed that repealing Obergefell would be a complicated matter.
Graham then, without any segue, asked Coney Barrett if there is any Constitutional right to polygamy.
"Somebody might make the argument it's possible for three people to love each other genuinely, and that would work its way to the court if somebody wanted to make that argument, is that correct?"
Coney Barrett responded by saying that a case like the one Graham described could very well end up before the Supreme Court.
Coming on the heels of a statement just last week by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito urging the Court to reconsider Obergefell v. Hodges, it seemed to many that Graham was trying to use the issue of polygamy theorize a precedent by which Obergefell v. Hodges could be relitigated in the Supreme Court.
In other words, if a concept like polygamy is up for debate and interpretation by the highest court of the land, why shouldn't same-sex marriage still be too?
The exchange sparked widespread outcry among LGBTQ people and allies, who found it homophobic, to say the least.
Did #LindseyGrahamIsLosing just equate polygamy to gay marriage?— Joe Haak (@Joe Haak)1602681731.0
#LadyG, don’t pretend like you can’t remember the name of the same-sex marriage case (#Obergefell) and drawing thes… https://t.co/Z74Et3ihk9— Taylor Largmann 🏳️🌈 🌹 (@Taylor Largmann 🏳️🌈 🌹)1602681672.0
Lindsey Graham just compared same-sex marriage w/ polygamy as a hypothetical - so there’s that.— cindy caponera (@cindy caponera)1602681671.0
Did Lindsey Graham just compare homosexuality to polygamy, using the "slippery slope" argument?— Lou Savastani (@Lou Savastani)1602681643.0
And many found it preposterous that Coney Barrett has an opinion on polygamy after feigning ignorance and claiming to have no opinions on virtually everything else.
Wait so Amy Coney Barrett could speak to whether polygamy is legal but couldn't tell us if the President can legall… https://t.co/AjPAN5hoox— Adrienne Lawrence (@Adrienne Lawrence)1602681663.0
@realDonaldTrump apparently Barrett does not know that the Supreme Court ruled in 1879 that laws outlawing polygamy… https://t.co/Lt1M4RU51x— gnomedeplume3.0 (@gnomedeplume3.0)1602681627.0
Several people referenced the long-standing rumors of Graham's own homosexuality in their castigations of the Senator.
There is a special place in Hell - hopefully with pools of boiling oil - for this vomitous closet case, allegedly k… https://t.co/QqMTc9QGG0— Steve Silberman (@Steve Silberman)1602702480.0
Closet Case Lindsey ‘Lady G’ Graham slippery sloping Obergefell to polygamy, etc.— rob rankin (@rob rankin)1602681554.0
Oh, great.... Lady G @LindseyGrahamSC is now comparing gay marriage to polygamy. Is it 2004 again?… https://t.co/6OLh3xonVI— 👻🎃Mathemactivist🎃👻 (@👻🎃Mathemactivist🎃👻)1602681534.0
Rumors of homosexuality have dogged Senator Graham, one of the most anti-LGBTQ members of Congress, for decades. Earlier this year, several male sex workers alleged on social media that they'd been hired by the Senator for sexual liaisons. The hashtag #LadyG, Graham's supposed nickname among sex workers, trended on Twitter for several days.