New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner apologized Thursday after his encounter with a voter who used a homosexual slur against his openly gay opponent Christine Quinn, saying he has fought against homophobia all of his political career.
On Thursday, Weiner and an elderly woman had the exchange while he was campaigning in Queens, reports The Washington Post
When he asked the woman if she was a registered Democrat, she replied "I am, and I'm not voting for uh, what's her name? The dyke."
Weiner at first said "Okay. I just need you to sign the petition to get me on the ballot." But then he noticed a reporter was listening and added, "And you really shouldn't talk that way about people."
The woman apologized, and Weiner — who left the U.S. House of Representatives two years ago after tweeting inappropriate pictures of himself to several women — then said, "It's okay. It's not your fault." But later Thursday, after news broke about the exchange, Weiner issued his apology, the Post reported.
"Homophobia is vile and destructive and something I have fought against for the entirety of my career, including being a vocal supporter of gay marriage since 1998 and standing up on the floor of Congress for transgender Americans," he said.
"I admonished the woman amid a large crowd on a street corner and by no means believe that anything about her comment was appropriate. If the impression is that I did, I apologize because behavior like this will absolutely not be tolerated in my administration.”
According to The Wall Street Journal
, Weiner also apologized for the woman's remarks after delivering a health policy speech in Manhattan, saying that he "immediately admonished her not to say anything further," and that "there should be no slurs like this of any kind.”
“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,” he added.
But the apologies did not silence his critics. Both New York Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and state Sen. Brad Holyman, who are gay and supporters of Quinn, said in a joint statement that Weiner lacks "moral courage."
Schaefer also accused Weiner of keeping silent about anti-gay remarks made during a recent Brooklyn forum, saying the incident Thursday was part of a "disturbing pattern."
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