As Dems prepare for ‘first ever gay debate,’ Richardson tagged for using slur

By Nitya

Jul 11, 2007 10:34am

USA Today’s OnPolitics Blog Reports: Along with the news that many of the Democratic presidential contenders will take part next month in what’s being billed as the first ever debate focused on issues of concern to homosexuals comes this: One of the candidates, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, is apologizing for more than a year ago using a word that "most gay Latinos" find offensive.

The Los Angeles Times blog Top of the Ticket is following what’s going on. Here’s more on what it’s all about:

The forum, set for Aug. 9, is being sponsored by the gay TV network LOGO and the Human Rights Campaign.

According to this story at 365Gay.com (which LOGO owns), "Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Chris Dodd have confirmed they will participate. Several other Democratic candidates also may join the debate."

As for Richardson, Gay News Watch writes that during a March 29, 2006, interview on the TV/radio show Imus in the Morning (which since then was canceled because of racially charged comments made by the host), Richardson and Don Imus used a word that many Latinos consider to be a hateful Spanish term for homosexuals.

This week, Gay News Watch reports, Richardson publicly apologized by issuing a statement saying, in part, that:

"I would never knowingly say or do anything to hurt the (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual) community — a community that I have worked hard for and supported my entire career. … In the Spanish I grew up speaking, the term means simply ‘gay,’ not positive or negative. It has been brought to my attention that the word also has a hurtful or derogatory connotation, which was never my intent. If I offended anybody, I’m sorry."

Top of the Ticket says it confirmed with the Richardson campaign that the Gay News Watch report is correct.

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