Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee guided through President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, said Saturday her confirmation demonstrates women in America can achieve anything — provided they follow a "traditional family structure."
"You know what I like about Judge Barrett? She's got everything!" Graham told a crowd in Conway, S.C. "She's just not wicked smart, she's incredibly good. She embraces her faith. I want every young woman to know there's a place for you in America if you are pro-life, if you embrace your religion and you follow traditional family structure. That you can go anywhere, young lady."
In addition to suggesting women who are support abortion rights and have no faith cannot achieve success in the United States, Graham indicated they must follow a "traditional family structure," which has been a longtime dog whistle used by social conservatives to denigrate and exclude single people and LGBTQ families.
Graham, who is himself single, has been dogged by rumors about his sexual orientation and taunts on social media of being "Lady G," although he has consistently denied being gay.
The remarks come weeks after Graham was widely criticized for saying that Black Americans and immigrants can "go anywhere" in South Carolina, but they "just need to be conservative, not liberal."
Graham is in the middle of a serious political challenge from Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison, who in some polls neck-and-neck — if not ahead — of the Republican incumbent. Harrison has raised a stunning $57 million in the third quarter of 2020 in his effort to oust Graham from the Senate.
Meanwhile, Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court, which solidified a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, has raised fears LGBTQ rights, including same-sex marriage, are in jeopardy with her on the bench. Progressive advocates have been calling for expanding the judiciary with Democratic picks if Joe Biden is elected, otherwise known as packing the court.
The Washington Blade has placed a request in Graham's office seeking comment on whether he stands by his comment on the "traditional family structure."
This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National LGBT Media Association.