“As a black lesbian from Florida, I personally felt the sting of Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll’s words. Instead of simply denying the claims, she stereotyped black lesbians in order to deflect her own charges,” Smith said in a prepared statement.
“With that one quick statement, Lt. Governor Carroll appealed to racial and homophobic stereotypes that do real harm.”
Carroll, a Republican, is the highest-ranking black women ever to serve in Florida government, according to Equality Florida.
“Despite the Lt. Governor’s attempt to portray lesbians like me as so very different from her, we actually have a great deal in common. I too am married and a mother. The difference is my marriage is not legally recognized and I’ve had to fight for the legal right to be a parent to my son,” Smith added.
“Whether the allegations that she abused her authority are true or not is for a court to decide,” said Smith.
“But I launched this petition in hopes that others who are as outraged as I am can join me in calling on the Lt. Governor to show the strength of character to apologize for stereotyping black women in general and lesbians in particular.”