Out Legislators Blast Weiner on ’Dyke’ Comment
Out New York legislators are up in arms with mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner for his response to a voter who referred to Christine Quinn as a "dyke," as reported in a June 19 Washington Post article. Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and out NY State Senator Brad Hoylman are demanding an immediate apology from the former congressman and mayoral candidate.
"We are appalled by the account in the Washington Post of Anthony Weiner's unacceptable response to a prospective voter's homophobic, misogynistic slur in reference to Christine Quinn," said the two in a June 20 statement.
In the June 19 Washington Post story "Big Apple's big battle: Democrats vie to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor" by Jason Horowitz, the author accounts an exchange between Weiner and an elderly woman.
"You a registered Democrat?" he asked an elderly woman wheeling a shopping cart by him.
"I am," she said. "And I'm not voting for uh, what's her name? The dyke."
"Okay. I just need you to sign the petition to get me on the ballot," said Weiner, who then noticed the incredulous reaction of a reporter and added, "and you really shouldn't talk that way about people."
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and NY State Senator Brad Hoylman
"Oh, I'm sorry," the woman said.
"It's okay," Weiner responded. "It's not your fault."
"Weiner's response to this blatant display of homophobia is completely inappropriate and extremely alarming," said Hoylman and Glick. "There is nothing 'okay' about homophobia, and it's never 'okay' to condone bias-based slurs or hate speech of any kind."
In his defense, Weiner cited his history as one of the earliest endorsers of gay marriage in the New York congressional delegation, adding that he had worked his entire career, in an often very conservative district that had a heavy Orthodox Jewish and religious Catholic constituency, to embrace the ideas of civil liberties for all people.
"Let me make it clear that when I heard the...woman make that remark, I immediately admonished her not to say anything further," Weiner told reporters today after a speech on health policy. "I have no memory of saying anything beyond that to the woman."
Hoylman and Glick are demanding an immediate apology from Weiner on behalf of LGBT and women New Yorkers, opining that, "The voter's use of the term demonstrates the challenges women candidates and lesbians in particular face, and Weiner's failure to swiftly and firmly condemn her language demonstrates his lack of moral courage."
Weiner said the campaign plans to put out a statement, because "there seems to have been interest."
"What the statement would be is that I admonished the woman at the time and my value, that I want to reiterate, is that there should be no slurs like this of any kind," he said. "I think that what was said was wrong. I said it at the time. Any other impression that might have been left was wrong. I admonished it."