Newton says Dems 'a little sensitive' in reaction to HB2 comment
Sen. Buck Newton told supporters of a controversial bill that they should help him "keep our state straight." Democrats pounced on the comment as anti-gay, but Newton said he wasn't referencing sexuality.Posted — Updated
"Go home, tell your friends and family who had to work today what this is all about and how hard we might fight to keep our state straight," Newton said during a rally in support of House Bill 2, the controversial measure passed in response to Charlotte's transgender nondiscrimination ordinance.
Newton's remarks drew fire from both independent liberal groups and the state Democratic Party, which called on Newton to apologize.
Speaking Tuesday, Newton said he had nothing to apologize for, repeating that the bill was aimed at keeping "men out of the bathroom with little girls."
"I think the silly season is upon us, and I think this whole effort by the Democratic Party is to be expected," he said. "I never mentioned gays or anyone. So, I'm not quite sure how they made that leap. Maybe they're being a little sensitive."
Pressed as to whether he meant to implicate a gay-straight dynamic, Newton replied, "I don't know how they made that connection. I never mentioned anything about homosexuality."
Newton is the Republican candidate for attorney general. He is running against former state Sen. Josh Stein, a Democrat.
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