Senate Hopeful Blasts Staffer for Gay Slur

The Republican U.S. Senate candidate in South Carolina has reprimanded a campaign staffer for a derogatory comment she made about lesbians in an e-mail.

Ginny Allen (search), director of operations for Rep. Jim DeMint's (search) campaign, accidentally sent the e-mail to Lisa Hall, chairwoman of a local gay advocacy group, after Hall invited DeMint to attend a town hall meeting on gay issues.

Apparently thinking she was forwarding the e-mail to someone wite word "farg" was a reference to the person Allen intended to receive the e-mail, campaign director Terry Sullivan (search) said Tuesday.

Allen was not fired, but DeMint said in a letter of apology Monday that he had personally reprimanded Allen.

"Mrs. Allen's remarks do not reflect my beliefs or the character of the campaign," DeMint wrote in his letter to Hall.

Hall said she was shocked by Allen's comments.

"It hurt," she said. "My parents raised me to be a Christian and not to speak hateful of anyone, even when having a disagreement with somebody."

Sullivan said Allen would not be available for comment, but she did apologize to Hall in an e-mail Tuesday.

"I apologize for the language I used in the email that you received yesterday. It was completely unacceptable," Allen wrote. "I demonstrated poor judgment and a total lack of consideration. I stand corrected on all points and will be more polite and considerate in the future."

DeMint, a three-term congressman who supports a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, faces Democrat Inez Tenenbaum (search) in the Nov. 2 election.

Tenenbaum's campaign would not comment on the e-mail.