02:56 GMT01 November 2020
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    Democrats in the Senate have slammed President Trump's Supreme Court nominee for using the term when referring to sexual orientation, claiming it is offensive to the LGBTQ community.

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary has edited the definition of "sexual preference" to add the word "offensive" after Amy Barrett faced harsh criticism for using the phrase.

    The word "preference" in this sense could, apart from anything else, mean "sexual orientation" and until Wednesday, no one apparently had had any problems with this interpretation. 

    Merriam-Webster's editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski told Fox News that they regularly update definitions in the dictionary and sometimes, they consider it's time for updates "when a word or set of words is getting extra attention".

    "A revision made in response to an entry's increased attention differs only in celerity—as always, all revisions reflect evidence of use", Sokolowski said.

    On Tuesday, Senator Mazie Hirono blasted Barrett for saying she would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference, saying that this term is "outdated" and "offensive" to sexual minorities.

    Barrett later apologised, saying that she in no way meant to offend the LGBTQ community.

    ​In May 2020, however, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden used the term "sexual preference" when speaking about equality at a virtual roundtable with black representatives in Florida.

    "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", the former vice president said.
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    Joe Biden, Democrats, equality, dictionary, US
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