Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner Addresses 'Dyke Comment' Controversy


Anthony Weiner has responded to a growing controversy over his "lack of moral outrage" after a constituent referred to NYC mayoral contender Christine Quinn as a "dyke."

The controversy started after a brief exchange with a woman whom he was trying to get to sign his mayoral candidacy petition:

“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.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” the woman said.

“It’s okay,” Weiner responded. “It’s not your fault.”

Weiner's campaign released the following statement today after growing pressure from outraged politicians and individuals upset at his response. From the Washington Post:

“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 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."

(Photo by Boss Tweed via Flickr.)

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  1. What was he supposed to do, beat her about the head and shoulders? He told her politely, and I think that kind of approach is always far more long lasting.

    Posted by: Tigerama | Jun 21, 2013 7:08:46 AM

  2. I think he acted very appropriately. I think that most people would blow this off, get their signature and get out of there.

    Posted by: Richard | Jun 21, 2013 7:36:43 AM

  3. What's next: moral outrage at someone who doesn't experience moral outrage while reading about the "incident?"

    Posted by: Neil | Jun 21, 2013 7:46:46 AM

  4. well if I lived in NY- Id vote for him..tho actually Id be torn between him and Ms Quinn

    Posted by: disgusted american | Jun 21, 2013 7:52:56 AM

  5. He isnt homophobic. Seriously the guy is on our side. We need to lighten up a bit.

    Posted by: paul | Jun 21, 2013 8:01:31 AM

  6. I don't like this. You see people's true colors when no one is watching, except in his case, unfortunate for him, a reporter was- and exposed potentially someone who is silent when faced with bigotry. Unless there's a camera around. On second thought, he is fit to be a politician, isn't he?

    Posted by: Junior | Jun 21, 2013 8:06:49 AM

  7. Yeah, I've always thought the best way to see who is a true ally (of any group of people not their own) is to have said person face to face with a bigot spewing bigotry of a group they don't belong to, and seeing their reaction. I think it's very telling.

    Posted by: Geo NE | Jun 21, 2013 8:08:02 AM

  8. With all the anti gay hate crimes happening in NYC and a horribly homophobic climate in the city right now, I'm not liking reading this. I don't much appreciate fair weathered friends who need my vote and play nice to my face but behind our back...........

    Posted by: Lisa | Jun 21, 2013 8:09:16 AM

  9. News flash: Weiner doesn't give a crap about gays or anyone else. He cares only about himself and getting elected. He can't envision a life for himself that doesn't involved making decisions for other people through political power.

    Posted by: joe | Jun 21, 2013 8:15:24 AM

  10. Junior and others -- he wasn't silent. He said "You really shouldn't talk that way about people." Off the cuff, direct response. I might have said, "That's an offensive term," or something like that, but he was definitely not silent. What would you have had him do instead?

    Posted by: Fritz | Jun 21, 2013 8:28:02 AM

  11. I've got to wonder if some of the people posting their "outrage" over this "controversy" in the comments here, commenters who we have never seen before, are paid Quinn staffers.

    I don't live in NY so it's of no consequence to me, but from what I've read there is plenty of seemingly legitimate criticism out there of Quinn, calling her a DINO and worse. Before his fall from grace Weiner was one of our staunchest allies. I don't know which I'd choose if I did live there, I'd have to look into the real issues further, but it wouldn't be cut and dried, just voting for the lesbian because she IS lesbian and dismissing the other guy because he sent out some d!ck pics.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 21, 2013 8:37:33 AM

  12. He was right to apologize. Leaders shouldn't "It's okay. It's not your fault." when people call their gay opponents "dyke." That's kinda Politics 101, especially in NYC.

    Posted by: reader | Jun 21, 2013 8:42:57 AM

  13. Talk about a non-issue. He dealt with it politely and immediately and moved on. Weiner is currently the best option available in the mayoral race.

    Posted by: Griff | Jun 21, 2013 8:46:21 AM

  14. Yes, a person's immediate reaction IS very telling... and his was to, gently, call her on it. To see this any other way is just plain silly.

    Posted by: kaccompany | Jun 21, 2013 8:58:20 AM

  15. He really should have beaten the crap out of her. I hope the Dykes on Bikes aren't offended. Oops I said dyke.

    Posted by: Sean | Jun 21, 2013 9:02:03 AM

  16. I think he meant, when he said it was not her fault, that she was a product of her times and culture.... for me this really is an non-issue... once again, we have bigger enemies.... and perhaps too much free time in our hands?

    look at Turkey and Brazil.... US could be next, if only people let go of their mouse, phone, or remote control and walked out of their homes...

    Posted by: V-8 | Jun 21, 2013 9:17:00 AM

  17. Much ado about nothing.

    Posted by: John P. | Jun 21, 2013 9:17:59 AM

  18. Maybe "dyke" was being used in a post-modern way to RECLAIM it, like queer.

    If dyke is wrong, queer not wrong. STOP USING QUEER you haters.

    (I mean that. I LOATHE the word queer. It's a hate word that's synonymous with sodomite and buggerer)

    Posted by: will | Jun 21, 2013 9:19:47 AM

  19. My take on it is that he's an ally, and I'll bet that internally he was taken aback, but he had a bigger reason not to admonish her, he needed her signature.

    My partner's take on it is different. He often tells straight friends that when faced with anti-gay sentiment, it's their responsibility to say something. It can't be left to us only.

    Posted by: the other Ken | Jun 21, 2013 9:29:29 AM

  20. The important thing for me is that he called her out and that she then apologized. Maybe he changed her mind -- maybe she will think more about what comes out of her mouth in the future. She apologized for her language because of him. That's a good thing.

    Posted by: kit | Jun 21, 2013 9:31:08 AM

  21. People are getting bent out of shape over this? WTF?! Wait, can I still say bent?

    Posted by: jay_max | Jun 21, 2013 9:41:28 AM

  22. The more people make an issue out of this, the more it makes me confident that I will vote for him. He was run out of office for foolishness that any republican wouldn't even acknowledge--David Vitter wearing diapers with the hooker, folks? He's still in the Senate for that one.

    And people are outraged that Weiner didn't beat this old lady over the head for using the word "dyke"?

    Weiner is a fighter and we all need people like him on the side of the middle class right now.

    Posted by: kdknyc | Jun 21, 2013 9:44:32 AM

  23. This shouldn't have been a controversy in the first place, and the idea that it's a "growing controversy" now says more about the media and our ludicrous times than it does about Anthony Weiner, who's been an ally for years and whose reaction was perfectly appropriate.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 21, 2013 9:47:41 AM

  24. The "moral outragers" are the biggest hypocrites...

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Jun 21, 2013 9:58:23 AM

  25. He did what 99.9999999999% of people WOULDN'T do, which is to say something.....he did the right thing and you could tell it was instinctive for him to do so...I hope Quinn and her campaign don't make this an issue, because it isn't. We will see if she really is the better person, or not. I bet she makes a HUGE deal out of it!!

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 21, 2013 10:17:27 AM

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