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Gay rights group asking for apology from legislator

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RALEIGH – A gay rights group is asking for an apology after a state legislator sent an email making what they call derogatory comments. State Representative Larry Brown (R), of Forsyth County, is catching the heat for the email.

The email said: “I hope all the queers are thrilled to see him. I am sure there will be a couple legislative fruitloops there in the audience.” Rep. Brown was responding to an email that House Minority Leader Paul Stam sent to members of his caucus. He was letting them know that House Speaker Joe Hackney was receiving an award from Equality North Carolina for supporting bills the Republicans did not.

Brown mistakenly replied to 60 people.

The Equality NC Foundation is now asking for an apology.

“Well when a leader makes a mistake we want him to apologize and apologize quickly to his constituents. There are people in Davidson and Forsyth Counties who expect better of him,” said Hunter Corn, member of Equality NC Board.

Rep. Hackney said the comment was inappropriate.

“It is very disappointing to hear a member use hate speech against any group whether it's a racial comment or directed at lesbians or gay people - it's inappropriate,” said Rep. Hackney.

Another Republican, Rep. Thom Tillis (R) Mecklenburg County, said he received the email and spoke to Rep. Brown who said he regrets what happened. Tillis said this is uncharacteristic and not reflective of the House Republican caucus.

“We're focused on the economic situation that we've got to deal with in North Carolina, we're focused on educational problems, we're focused on those issues and this is just an unacceptable distraction,” said Rep. Tillis.

News 14 Carolina has tried to contact Rep. Brown several times by telephone and even went to his home and he has not responded.

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