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Florida Lt. Gov. Apologizes For Black Lesbian Comment

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll apologized Thursday for offending lesbians when she said black women who engage in those relationships don’t look like her.

Carroll, who was implying that black lesbians aren’t attractive, made the remarks more than a week ago when she was asked about court documents in which a fired staffer claims that she walked in on Carroll and a female travel aide in a compromising position. Carroll denies that claim.

“It is wrong and inexcusable to make a comment that hurts people, and that was not my intention,” Carroll wrote in a letter to Equality Florida, a group that seeks equal rights for gays and lesbians. “As a Christian, my faith guides me to love and respect all people. The false charges that have been lodged against me are no excuse for what I have said.”

The claims about Carroll were made by fired staffer Carletha Cole, who is charged with secretly taping a conversation with Carroll’s chief of staff. Cole allegedly gave the recording to a newspaper reporter. Carroll has been married for 29 years and has three children.

“Please know that I am committed to treating every person with the utmost respect and dignity and I hope you will accept my heartfelt apology,” Carroll wrote.

Nadine Smith, Equality Florida’s executive director, said Carroll also called her.

“I want to thank the lieutenant governor for taking responsibility for her words and for responding to the harm those words inflicted,” Smith said. “Apologies by elected leaders for public mistakes are rare and it is to the lieutenant governor’s credit that she has taken this step.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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