A gay rights group is demanding an apology tonight from Florida’s Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll. In an attempt to explain away allegations that she had a lesbian affair, Carroll told reporters essentially… she’s too pretty to be gay. Pressure is building for Carroll to apologize.
Under fire by a former employee accusing her of carrying on an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer, Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll offered this explanation. "Black women who look like me don't engage in relationships like that."
Carroll’s comments sparked backlash from gay and lesbian groups. The latest comes from Equality Florida. The advocacy organization started an online petition demanding an apology from Carroll.
“The petition was launched Wednesday and by Thursday afternoon the group had nearly meet its goal.”
The petition asks Carroll to, “have the character to apologize for your statement that demeans and diminishes the existence of black lesbians and stereotypes all black women.”
Dr. Louise Ritchie, a corporate diversity consultant, signed it. “I think there are many people in the state who don’t want to support ignorance and would be happy to sign the petition.
Ritchie is a clinical physiologist and has taught diversity courses at some of the country’s top businesses. “I think it is a teachable moment and it is a time that many people can learn that you can’t look at a person and tell if they’re gay.”
Ritchie is straight, but says she has gay friends who look like her. In the aftermath of Carroll’s comments, Twitter has exploded with people making similar statements and tweeting pictures. One tweet aimed at Carroll reads “I am what a black lesbian looks like and so are you.”
We asked the governor’s office what Carroll meant by her statement and if she plans to apologize. They declined to answer our questions.