Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) blasted Judge Amy Coney Barrett for saying “sexual preference” but refused Thursday to call on Joe Biden (D) to apologize after he used the term in May.
National Review: Senator, last week at the hearing you mentioned that you thought it was “offensive and outdated” when Amy Barrett used the [term] “sexual preference.” It turns out that Joe Biden said it in May. Ruth Bader Ginsburg said it in 2017. Some of your colleagues on the Judiciary Committee said it maybe in 2010, 2012. Do you stand by that criticism?
Mazie Hirono: Well, of course.
NR: Do you think Joe Biden should apologize for saying that in May?
Hirono: Well, look, it’s a lesson learned for all of us. But when you’re going on the Supreme Court and you’ve been a judge, as one of my judge friends said, you should know what these words mean.
NR: Should Joe Biden apologize, too, like Amy Coney Barrett did?
Hirono: Joe Biden is not up for the Supreme Court.
NR: He’s up for the presidency. So, he shouldn’t apologize?
Hirono: People will decide.
NR: You don’t want to call on him to apologize?
Hirono: Oh, stop it. The world is in flames.
The senator tweeted video footage on October 13 of the moment she scolded Barrett for using the term:
Let me make clear – sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term.
To suggest sexual orientation is a choice? It's not. It's a key part of a person's identity.
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) October 13, 2020
“And let me make clear: ‘Sexual preference’ is an offensive and outdated term,” Hirono said, adding, “It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice.”
However, Biden used the same phrase during a virtual roundtable discussion in May:
The Left said Amy Coney Barrett was bigoted because she used the term "sexual preference."
Here's Joe Biden using the same term in May. pic.twitter.com/u7k4MqHCSU
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) October 13, 2020
“I’m hopeful. I’m going to need you if we win. I’m going to need you to help this time rebuild the backbone of this country, the middle class, but this time bring everybody along regardless of color, sexual preference, their backgrounds, whether they have any … Just bring everybody along,” he said.
Barrett later apologized for using the term, according to Breitbart News.
“I certainly didn’t mean and would never mean to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBTQ community. So if I did, I greatly apologize for that,” she said.