A gay activist who is vice chair of the Orange County Democratic Party is under fire for using an obscenity in confronting gay opposition volunteers trying to gather petition signatures to recall a Democratic state senator.
“Which one of you (expletive) is the gay?” Those are the words caught on video uttered by Democratic Vice Chair Jeff LeTourneau and the video was broadcast on TV.
A top Republican demanded LeTourneau resign his county Democratic party post, but Le Tourneau is fighting back.
LeTourneau told City News Service he is offended that anyone who is gay would support the Republican Party, which he said has stood against policies benefiting the gay community since the 1980s.
He said he has “unequivocally apologized” for the “manner in which I delivered my remarks. Not the remarks, though, because every one is true.”
Orange County Republican Party Chairman Fred Whitaker Thursday criticized the LeTourneau of the Orange County Democratic Party for the way he confronted volunteers collecting signatures in the effort to recall state Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton.
LeTourneau in turn accused Whitaker of “cranking up” a story that had died last week when Fox News Channel broadcast a video of LeTourneau’s conflict with volunteers.
Whitaker accused LeTourneau of “verbally attacking gay volunteers.” In the video, LeTourneau is shown walking up to the volunteers saying, “Which one of you (expletive) is the gay?”
“Jeff LeTourneau’s outrageous and unacceptable verbal attack against gay volunteers collecting signatures to recall Josh Newman is intolerance at its worst and we completely reject it,” Whitaker said.
“As chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, I call on Jeff LeTourneau to resign as vice chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County. I also call on both the Democratic Party of Orange County and Sen. Josh Newman to officially condemn Jeff LeTourneau’s vicious tirade. As a community, we must stand together and oppose this kind of intimidation — it has no place in civil society.”
LeTourneau, who is gay and has been an activist in the gay community going back to the 1980s, said he was sorry for using profane language in the June 10 conflict outside a Walmart in Fullerton, but refused to retract his message.
Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego City Councilman who is also gay and leads the recall effort, was on hand for the conflict and ripped LeTourneau.
“To attack volunteers simply because they are gay is reprehensible,” DeMaio said.
In the video, LeTourneau is seen criticizing what he sees as “outsiders” coming into the district with money to upend the Democrats’ super-majority in the state legislature.
Fran Sdao, the chair of the Orange County Democratic Party, issued a statement saying, “The out-of-district interests, who are wasting taxpayer money by attempting to recall our state senator, have caused emotions to run high. The Democratic Party of Orange County encourages every Democrat, especially those serving on our central committee, to focus on organizing in a productive and respectful manner.”
–City News Service