Local Politics

Lawmaker criticized for gay slurs in e-mail

Posted October 5, 2010
Updated October 6, 2010

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— A gay rights group on Tuesday criticized a state lawmaker for using slurs in an e-mail to dozens of Republican legislators.

Rep. Larry Brown, R-Forsyth, was responding to an e-mail House Minority Leader Paul Stam sent out regarding House Speaker Joe Hackney receiving an award from the Equality NC Foundation, a gay rights group, for his work in the General Assembly.

"I hope all the queers are thrilled to see him. I am sure there will be a couple legislative fruitloops there in the audience," Brown wrote in the Sept. 27 e-mail.

The message was sent from Brown's personal AOL account to the personal or business accounts of about 60 other lawmakers.

Brown couldn't be reached Tuesday for comment.

"I think it is shocking that a legislator would use that kind of language," said Ian Palmquist, executive director of Equality NC. "We are calling on Rep. Brown to apologize to his constituents for using anti-gay slurs. He has not responded yet. I hope other legislators speak out to treat all North Carolinians fairly and call out Rep. Brown for his actions."

Dan Gurley, a former executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party who now chairs the board of Equality NC, also called for Brown to apologize.

"I'm ashamed that an elected official who is a member of my party has chosen to express himself in such a way," Gurley said in a statement. "Before saying such things in the future, I hope Rep. Brown and those like him will think about the six gay teenagers who've committed suicide in recent weeks and realize the words they utter do have consequences."


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  • Deep Thought Oct 14, 2010

    He is free to say or e-mail anything he wants. But, when he or she is an elected official they need to be above reproach. Now everyone knows he is a bigot about gays, maybe they are not the only group he is against.

    What if the e-mail had been about African Americans, would people be on his side or call him out for his prejudice? What if the e-mail had belittled a group that you are a part of, still don't feel he is wrong?

  • gcaulberg Oct 14, 2010

    Of course he has a right to exercise his freedom of speech. Whether the comments were private or public it shows the depth of his contempt for one segment of the people he represents. While expressing his freedom of speech he must accept the consequences of his bigoted, self-righteous,slur mongering, backward-thinking words. I hope the consequences are as sure, as just and as harsh as his words.

  • Bill of Rights Oct 7, 2010

    I agree 100% that he has every right to speak his mind. I just hope the voters kick his sorry posterior to the curb now that his bigotry has been exposed for all to see.

  • ght001 Oct 7, 2010

    This guy has the right to say whatever he wants. He sent the e-mail from a personal account, not one provided by his employer.

  • Gork Oct 7, 2010

    Now that it's been picked up by national news media North Carolina's reputation will be maintained...

  • Sherlock Oct 7, 2010

    Hey this is just freedom of speech, based upon the same as the case that is in front of the S/Court now. He has the right to say what he feels.

  • AX Oct 6, 2010

    Stam said that the message was intended to be private and that the only people Brown should apologize to are those who received the e-mail message and were offended.

    "It was not sent to a public group," said Stam, of Apex. "There's a lot of language that is used by public officials in public and private that should not be used. I don't use that language myself."

    Notice Stam didnt say he doesnt believe in that kind of bigotry? He only says he doesnt use that language himself (in public) He only pushes through agendas that spur bigotry

  • AX Oct 6, 2010

    "I would hope that he would apologize and his colleagues would speak out about that kind of bigotry."

  • AX Oct 6, 2010

    Anti-LGBT slurs--and the unfair and OUTDATED beliefs that spur them--have no place in our discourse.

  • Killian Oct 6, 2010

    airengr and wa4mjf -- many African Americans will call each other the "N" word too, amongst themselves. Does that make it any less incendiary when a public official or media person uses it? I don't think so.