After Lieutenant Gov. Jennifer Carroll of Florida dismissed rumors she had a same-sex liaison by saying “black women that look like me,” don’t have lesbian relationships, she pissed off a lot of folks in the Sunshine State, gay and straight. Two weeks—and an online petition later—she’s apologized, calling her comment “wrong and inexcusable.”
The trouble started when a former aide claimed to have caught Carroll in a compromising position with another staffer. Instead of just denying the allegation, Carroll had to go and suggest African-American lesbians look like Rosey Grier.
But in a letter she faxed to Nadine Smith of Equality Florida—the group that organized the petition—she admitted her error:
“It is wrong and inexcusable to make a comment that hurts people, and that was not my intention. As a Christian, my faith guides me to love and respect all people.
The false charges that have been lodged against me are no excuse for what I have said that may have been hurtful to members of your organization and to other Floridians.
Please know that I am committed to treating every person with the utmost courtesy, respect and dignity and I hope you will accept my heartfelt apology.”
Smith gracious accepted Carroll’s apology and said it was a rare example of a politician admitting they made a mistake:
“Lt. Governor Carroll expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to communicate her commitment to treating everyone with respect and dignity. She invited Equality Florida to reach out to her office if she could be of assistance and I offered our organization as a resource as well. Apologies by elected leaders for public mistakes are rare and it is to the Lt. Governor’s credit that she has taken this step.”
It’s all well and good Carroll feels bad about insulting black lesbians, but lets see some action from her on LGBT issues. Or, as a Christian, does her faith not direct her to defend the rights of all people equally?