Odd it was, but queer? Well, no.
A California lawmaker became confused when a word used historically to mean strange, or as an insult to homosexuals, was spoken on the Assembly floor today by another lawmaker referring favorably to gays and lesbians.
Assemblywoman Linda Halderman, R-Fresno, said she had always thought that the word "queer" was a "degrading epithet." She expressed surprise after Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, said the word during a floor debate.
"Define what you mean when you say 'queer'?" she asked, prompting the chamber to grow silent.
Halderman's query occurred during discussion of Assembly Joint Resolution 43, which seeks federal protection against harassment, discrimination or disparate treatment based on sexual orientation.
Lara had said the measure would benefit "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and 'queer' Americans."
Bad is now good, and "queer" is now a compliment, Lara suggested.
"Queer was a term that was used to talk bad about people who were lesbian and gay," he told Halderman. "We turned it around and use it as, now, a term that empowers our community."
The Assembly passed the measure, 52-21. Halderman abstained.