Weiner defends his reaction to a ‘dyke’ remark, and his LGBT record

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Weiner, giving a health care speech. (Reid Pillifant)
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Anthony Weiner defended his commitment to LGBT issues this afternoon, after questions about his response to a woman who referred to Christine Quinn as a "dyke," as reported this morning in the Washington Post

"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," Weiner told reporters after a speech on health policy. "I have no memory of saying anything beyond that to the woman."

In the story, Weiner asks the woman to sign his petition, then notices the reaction of a reporter, after which he tells the woman, "you really shouldn’t talk that way about people.”

After the woman apologized, Weiner said, “It’s OK. It’s not your fault,” according to the Washington Post story.

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Weiner cited his history of supporting gay marriage in his own defense.

"Let me make it very clear, that any utterance of any type of slur against any community, I won't tolerate," he said. "And I think I've got a very long record, going back to my first days running for Congress in a fairly conservative district, endorsing gay marriage in 1998. So I feel very strongly about these issues and I did admonish the woman, and if there was something else that was said, that was in any way interpreted as anything else, that was wrong. I admonished the woman and I believe she shouldn't have said what she said."

Asked whether he'd be making an apology, Weiner said the campaign plans to put out a statement, because "there seems to have been interest."

"What the statement would be  is that I admonished the woman at the time and my value, that I want to reiterate, is that there should be no slurs like this of any kind," he said. "I have worked my entire career, in an often very conservative environment, in a district that had a heavy Orthodox Jewish and religious Catholic constituency, to embrace the ideas of civil liberties for all people. I was one of the earliest endorsers of gay marriage in the New York congressional delegation.

"I think that what was said was wrong. I said it at the time. Any other impression that might have been left was wrong. I admonished it."

UPDATE: As promised, Weiner's campaign sent out a statement from Weiner this afternoon:

"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."