Democrat politician condemned for attacking his gay opponent over drag queen fundraiser
A Democrat politician has been roundly criticised by his own party after he attacked his gay opponent for hosting a drag show.
Earl Jaques – who voted against same-sex marriage – hit out at his 44-year-old opponent Eric Morrison for hosting the drag fundraiser earlier this week.
Morrison has performed as a drag queen for almost 25 years and used his performance skills to help raise funds for his political campaign. Both are running to be state representative for Delaware’s 27th District.
Earl Jaques said drag show fundraiser was ‘so far off base’.
“That is so far off-base for our district, it’s unbelievable,” he said.
“You wonder what the point is. You can have fundraisers, I don’t care about that. But dressing in drag? Really?”
He continued: “I’m not sure he represents the people who attend those places of religion,” referencing churches in the area.
You wonder what the point is. You can have fundraisers, I don’t care about that. But dressing in drag? Really?
“If he’s actually having a fundraiser in drag, I don’t think those churches would endorse that… I’m just saying, it’s a little different, that’s for sure.”
He has since released a statement calling his own words “insensitive, hurtful, and simply wrong”.
“It is wrong to attempt to pass judgement or impose one person’s belief structure onto others,” Jaques said.
“My job as a State Representative is to represent all constituents of the 27th District, regardless of gender, race, creed, orientation or identity, period.”
He has been roundly criticised by Democrats.
House speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and House Majority Whip Larry Mitchell released a joint statement where they condemned Jaques’ comments.
“We became aware of Rep. Jaques’ comments earlier today,” they said.
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“We have spoken with Rep. Jaques and expressed our disagreement with what he said … We appreciate that he has apologised for his comments.”
They also said they take “great pride” in the work they have done to strengthen LGBT+ rights in Delaware.
“We remain committed to protecting the rights and equality for all residents, and part of that is addressing shortcomings or issues when they arise.
“We as a caucus will continue working to advance the cause of LGBTQ residents throughout Delaware,” they finished.
Morrison said he “very much” appreciates Jaques’ apology – but also drew attention to his track record on LGBT+ issues.
“Unfortunately, this does not change the fact that Rep. Jaques voted against same-sex marriage in 2013, and refused to vote yes or no on banning the barbaric practice of conversion therapy for Delaware’s LGBT minors in 2013.
“Those votes trouble me today and will always trouble me,” he continued.
If Morrison beats Jaques in the 2020 election, he will be the first gay man to serve on Delaware’s General Assembly.