Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono slammed Judge Amy Coney Barrett for using the term "sexual preference" earlier in the hearing to describe those in the LGBTQ community, telling Barrett that the language is an "offensive and outdated term."
"This morning Sen. Feinstein asked you a question about the Supreme Court 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case in which the court recognized the constitutional right to same-sex marriage and I was disappointed that you wouldn't give a direct answer if you agreed with the majority in that case or if you instead agreed with your mentor Justice Scalia that no such right exists in the Constitution," she said.
"Even though you didn't give a direct answer I think your response did speak volumes, 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 And let me make clear, sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term. It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not," Hirono continued.
The senator said that if it is Barrett's view "that sexual orientation is merely a preference," then the LGBTQ community should be "rightly concerned" whether the judge would uphold their constitutional right to marry.
Following Hirono's questioning, Barrett apologized for causing any offense by using the term.
"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. I simply meant to be referring to Obergefell's holding with respect to same-sex marriage," Barrett said.
Watch Sen. Hirono: