Democratic lawmaker called his primary opponent an anti-gay slur

Al Jacquet called Omari Hardi a "batty by," a Caribbean anti-gay slur
Al Jacquet Photo: YouTube screen capture

Florida state Rep. Al Jacquet (D) has apologized for calling his primary opponent, Omari Hardy, a ”batty boy” — a Caribbean anti-gay slur — in a public Facebook video Jacquet published last Friday. Hardy, who is not gay, has rejected Jacquet’s apology as insincere.

Near the end of Jacquet’s hour-long Facebook video, which he created to refute a Palm Beach Post story questioning his official residence and election violations, he said, “I hear they got ‘Sleepy Hardy.’ That’s all good. That’s the union boy. The batty boy, union boy.” Hardy currently serves as Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner.

Related: Florida Republicans sneak in 4 anti-LGBTQ bills just hours before filing deadline

Hardy said of the slur, “I have heard that term slung around before and I knew what it meant immediately. It appalled me that a member of the Florida House of Representatives and member of the Florida Democratic Party, which for years has stood up for LGBTQ rights, would use that kind of language.″

Jaquet’s slur was also condemned by gay state Rep. Shevrin Jones (D) and local gay mediator Rand Hoch who serves as president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.

Jaquet later apologized, saying, “In the heat of the moment, I said something I should not have said. I apologize for my words that have offended some of my colleagues.”

However, Hardy called Jaquet’s apology insincere, adding that the politician didn’t contact him directly to offer it.

“This was not genuine and sincere apology… not that I expected him to do it,” Hardy said. “This was (an attempt at) damage control, public relations control… to cover up the ugliness in himself that he revealed on Friday.″

Florida’s first LGBTQ Latinx legislator, Carlos G. Smith also gave the following statement to LGBTQ Nation:

“Homophobia is toxic and dangerous. Words matter and legislators on both sides of the aisle should condemn this hateful rhetoric immediately. This is totally unacceptable. Rep. Jacquet’s public statement in response to the backlash over his comments was WEAK and does not demonstrate real contrition for his decision to use the hateful language that he did. His constituents deserve better.”

Hardy, who was raised by two mothers added, “[Jaquet’s slur] was still personal for me … and I know how hurtful those types of slurs can be. I don’t think that language represents [Jacquet’s] constituents. That has no place in politics and it certainly has no places in the legislature of America’s third-largest state.″

Earlier this month, Jacquet called complaints that his state’s school voucher program funds anti-LGBTQ religious schools “fake news,” adding, “[The gay] agenda cannot hijack the education of black children. I don’t want to talk about gay issues. I want to talk about educating black kids.”

Here is the video where Jaquet used the slur, which is after the 58-minute mark.


Posted by Al Jacquet on Friday, February 14, 2020


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