Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley has apologized for anti-gay articles she wrote as a student at Marquette University 24 years ago, saying she is "embarrassed" about the views she shared at the time.
Liberal group One Wisconsin Now released a column and two letters to the editor Bradley wrote in February and November 1992 that appeared in the Marquette Tribune, the student newspaper.
Bradley -- who then had the last name of Grass -- describes gay people as "queers," and likens them to drug addicts, saying they "essentially kill themselves and others through their own behavior."
"How sad that the lives of degenerate drug addicts and queers are valued more than the innocent victims of more prevalent ailments," Bradley wrote.
She said newly elected president Bill Clinton was "queer-loving" and wrote that his victory in 1992 "proves that the majority of voters are either totally stupid or entirely evil."
In a statement to NBC Chicago, Bradley said she was “writing as a very young student, upset about the outcome of that presidential election and I am frankly embarrassed at the content and tone of what I wrote those many years ago.”
“To those offended by comments I made as a young college student, I apologize, and assure you that those comments are not reflective of my worldview,” Bradley said in the statement. “These comments have nothing to do with who I am as a person or a jurist, and they have nothing to do with the issues facing the voters of this state.”
The controversy comes as Bradley runs against Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg in the April 5 election for a 10-year term on the state's highest court.
One Wisconsin Now director Scot Ross called for Bradley’s resignation, saying in a statement on the organization’s website: “Rebecca Bradley has revealed such a depth of hatred and contempt for people that she cannot be trusted to uphold the most basic tenet of our judicial system, that all are equal before the law.”
Gov. Scott Walker said in a statement to NBC Chicago: “Justice Bradley appropriately made it clear today that a column written in college does not reflect her views as a Supreme Court Justice, a court of appeals judge, a circuit court judge or as an attorney.”
A Walker spokesperson added that he was not aware of her comments when he appointed her as a judge three times, including to the Supreme Court.
Kloppenburg said in a statement to NBC Chicago, "There is no statute of limitations on hate," adding that "Bradley’s comments are as abhorrent and disturbing today as they were in 1992 as people were dying in huge numbers from AIDS."