City Council E-mail Mocks Gay Businessman

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 02 2011 8:20 AM ET

Bill Hosko, a gay St. Paul, Minn., businessman and political opponent of city council member David Thune (pictured), wants Thune's executive assistant to resign after sending an e-mail that referred to Hosko as “that gay guy.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports on the leaked e-mail from the city council chambers.

“In the email, Barb Benson referred to Bill Hosko, a political opponent of Thune's, as ‘the gay guy that always runs [against] Dave for City Council,’” reports the Pioneer Press. “In reference to Hosko’s suggestion to add a statue of the late riverboat captain Bill Bowell to Harriet Island, Benson wrote: ‘Gag. Barf.’”

Hosko said the e-mail reflects an attitude of prejudice in Thune’s office.

“Why would she identify me as ‘that gay guy’? That is derogatory,” he said, according to the Pioneer Press. “What if she had said ‘the black guy’? That would have been derogatory.” He added, “‘The gay guy’ — what does that have to do with anything?”

Hosko plans to run for the Ward 2 seat again. Thune, who said the e-mail does not reflect his attitude, called him to apologize. Benson’s actions are under investigation by the city’s human resources personnel.