Anthony Weiner, one of the Democratic hopefuls trying to succeed New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg this fall, has apologized for an encounter he had with a voter who called his opponent a “dyke.”
Weiner’s opponent and the front runner in the campaign is Christine Quinn, who is openly gay. The encounter between Weiner and the voter took place in front of a Washington Post reporter, who published a story Wednesday detailing Weiner’s response to the voter’s slur. After the story was published, Weiner was prompted to publicly apologize for the remark.
According to the Washington Post, Weiner was wandering around the city looking for signatures to put him on the ballot when an elderly woman walked by him wheeling a shopping cart.
“You a registered Democrat?” Weiner asked the woman.
“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,” Weiner said.
The Washington Post story reports Weiner then noticed the reporter standing nearby looking incredulous and so added, “and you really shouldn’t talk that way about people.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” the woman said.
“It’s okay,” Weiner responded. “It’s not your fault.”
Following the story, two openly gay Manhattan politicians, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and Sen. Brad Hoylman, put out statements criticizing Weiner for his response and his lack of “moral courage.”
Weiner’s campaign then had to issue a statement Thursday apologizing for the encounter and the slur.
“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,” Weiner said in the statement.
He added: “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.”