Anthony Weiner Explains Reaction to 'Dyke' Remark

The New York City mayoral hopeful responds to those who criticized his reaction to a woman who used the term for rival candidate Christine Quinn.

BY Trudy Ring

June 21 2013 12:30 PM ET

Anthony Weiner

New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner has issued an apology and explanation to those who found his response insufficient when a woman called fellow candidate Christine Quinn “the dyke” in a conversation with him.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that when former congressman Weiner was campaigning in Queens over the weekend, he asked the elderly woman, “You a registered Democrat?” and she responded, “I am. And I’m not voting for uh, what’s her name? The dyke.”

Weiner then said “OK” and asked the woman to sign a petition to get him on the ballot, but when he noticed the Post reporter’s negative reaction, he added, “And you really shouldn’t talk that way about people.” The woman apologized and Weiner replied, “It’s OK. It’s not your fault.” The Post has audio of the exchange, available below.

Two New York State legislators who support lesbian City Council speaker Quinn in the mayoral race, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and Sen. Brad Hoylman, issued a statement Thursday “accusing Weiner of lacking ‘moral courage’ in how he handled the incident,” the New York Daily News reports.

At a campaign event in Manhattan Thursday, reporters quizzed Weiner about his reaction. “Well, let me make it clear that when I heard the person make that remark — by the way, it was in a scrum of literally dozens of people around me on a street corner—when I heard the woman make that remark, I immediately admonished her not to say anything further,” he responded. “I have no memory of saying anything beyond that to the woman.”

Shortly thereafter, Weiner issued the following statement: “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. I admonished the woman amid a large crowd on a streetcorner 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.”

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