NJ Democrat apologizes for making homophobic remarks about gay mayor


A Democratic councilwoman in Trenton, N.J., apologized Wednesday after calling the city’s first openly gay mayor a “pedophile” during a conference call.

“I apologize. That must be the first thing you hear from me. I am deeply and specifically sorry for the language that has offended so many,” Robin Vaughn said in a statement shared on Facebook and Twitter.

“It was also not my intent to attack anyone on the basis of any classification or personal preferences, but should have been more sensitive to the potential implication of my words and how they might be perceived,” she added.

During a conference call over the weekend, Mayor Reed Gusciora (D) asked Vaughn about a statement she made on social media, in which she accused him of supporting “do nothing nonprofit organizations.”

During a back-and-forth between the two officials, Gusciora called Vaughn a “child” and an “idiot.” Vaughn called Gusciora a “drug addict pedophile,” adding that “the only thing [Gusciora] brought into City Hall is a bunch of young boys, and they’re sitting up there in the mayor’s suite.”

She also suggested the mayor and Councilman Joseph Harrison (D) were in a sexual relationship, the Trentonian reported.

Gusciora told NBC News earlier this week that he regretted “interacting” with the councilwoman, accusing her of having a “history of causing disruptions.”

“Government leaders at all levels will disagree on the best course of action, and sometimes emotions can get the best of us. But Councilwoman Vaughn chose to launch into a vitriolic attack full of homophobic slurs, false accusations, and hateful comments,” Gusciora said in a statement. 

Vaughn claimed on Twitter last week that her comments had been taken out of context. The Trentonian posted about 54 minutes of the call online in their initial reporting.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Sens. Bob Menendez (D) and Cory Booker (D) have called for Vaughn to step down, according to multiple reports. Two LGBT rights groups — Garden State Equality and the Victory Fund — have also called for her resignation over the incident.

Vaughn gave no indication in her Facebook or Twitter post that she would resign.

Tags Bob Menendez city council Cory Booker LGBT resignation Robert Menendez Trenton

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