Oh, those Bush judicial nominees....
Federal appellate nominee Claude Allen told a Senate committee Tuesday he didn't mean it as a slur against homosexuals when he used the word "queer" while working as a press aide to a conservative Republican senator.
Allen also said he was "conflicted" about a 1983 filibuster mounted by his then-boss, Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, against a proposed federal holiday for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
"It was the most difficult day for me in my life," said Allen, who if confirmed could become the second black appeals judge on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "I believed that Dr. King deserved a holiday."
...During Helms' campaign against former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt, Allen was quoted as saying Hunt was vulnerable because his campaign could be "linked with the queers." He also was quoted as saying the Hunt campaign could be connected with homosexuals, labor unions, radical feminists and socialists....
He'll get a pass on "queer," because for a decade or so a lot of gay people have been trying to take the word back and use it defiantly. Now it's fairly mainstream (hence Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), but the word was a slur at the time and he knows it.