A state senator who lost an election after voting for gay marriage in 2009 is now being pilloried by some fellow senators who say a recent comment was homophobic. John Rodgers says it isn’t so and he’s tired of the name-calling by senators and the threat of being demoted from a committee assignment.
"Other senators — particularly members of the LGBTQ community — said they interpreted the remarks differently. "They could be taken as homophobic," Campion said, calling Rodgers' words "completely unacceptable." According to Sen. Debbie Ingram (D-Chittenden), who is gay, "When you use really derogatory terms that imply insults towards women or females, you have both sexism and heterosexism that enter into it." She added, "The implication is really insulting." Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint (D-Windham), who is also gay, said, "I would be lying to you if I didn't feel like there was some homophobia in there." Despite Rodgers' denial that he was targeting Bray or Campion, Balint said, "There's a reason why he used that particular word to refer to, as I read it, the chair and vice chair of that committee ... Bitch is not a neutral term. He didn't say, 'You goddamn bastards.' He chose that word because it's loaded and it's about emasculating men and it's about belittling women.""
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