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6 replies on “Gov. Mike Easley and ‘pansy’”

  1. it was inappropriate, but not directly homophobic. pansy in this sense is more like a weakling, and although weakling men are sometime erroneously associated with homosexual men, it isn’t a direct insult against gay men. if anything it’s a direct insult towards… well… pansies.

  2. I’d rather the governor not said what he did, but I don’t think he had any intent to malign gays. So, I voted ‘inappropriate but not homophobic.’ It will be interesting to see what the Obama campaign does with this.

  3. Cry, Cry, Cry…are we such morons to think that everytime someone uses a word that we as “gay people” might and I use the word “might” find offensive, we go on the defensive? It is just a word and I am sure at the time when it was spoken, the intent was not to shame our community on anyone in it. The word “pansy” also refers to a flower…hmmmmm wonder if our botanical friends are offended?

  4. I think his choice of words could have bee more thought out but I don’t think that it was homophobic oh i’m sure the Obama supporters will have a field day

  5. Below is the text of a letter Nathan Wolf wrote to Gov. Easley thanking him for his endorsement of Sen Clinton. That’s the same endorsement in which Gov. Easley used the term, “pansy.” Any person of Sen Clinton’s and Gov. Easley’s generation recognizes this word to be an anti-gay slur, even if younger folks may not.

    You don’t have to trust my word on it. Take it from GLAAD:


    Also, check out “Webster’s New World Dictionary,” which includes this as one of the defintions: “[Slang] an effeminate man; esp. an effeminate male homosexual: often a contemptuous term.”

    When Nathan thanked Gov. Easley for the endorsement of Hillary, he had the perfect opportunity to also ask the Governor to choose his words more carefully. He did not do so. I don’t fault Nathan for thanking the Governor for the endorsement, since I know he is an avid supporter of Sen. Clinton. I do fault Nathan for failing to look out for the interests of the LGBT community when he did so. His silence on this comment since it was made also has been particularly telling.

    Here is Nathan’s letter, which not only fails to mention the “pansy” comment, but also neglects to mention the LGBT community at all. Read it and make your own decisions about whether Nathan was an effective advocate for LGBT folks when he wrote this letter. Also, as of the writing of this comment, Sen. Clinton — who laughed at the “pansy” comment — has yet to distance herself from it, and Gov. Easley has not issued an apology.

    Nathan’s Letter to the Governor:

    Governor Mike Easley,

    The leadership of great Democrats such as yourself are what continues
    to give me great hope for our State and the Nation. Thank you for your
    endorsement of Sen. Hillary Clinton for President. While many may
    equally complain about your endorsemet, rest assured, there are many
    reasonable, engaged, informed voters here in the great state of North Carolina
    who remember who our friends are, and that includes the great
    friendship of Sen. Clinton.

    I have been dismayed by the endorsements of the candidates seeking
    higher office in the Primary Elections in North Carolina, who see Mr. Obama
    as a coattail candidate and are ignoring the great history and
    leadership of Sen. Clinton. We call this pandering, and that is not the way
    Democrats are supposed to behave.

    We are better than that. I have long said that the Party is not being
    “torn apart” as some in the media, and especially supporters of Mr.
    Obama, have portrayed our Party. The Party will be united, if the best
    candidate is finally endorsed by great leaders such as yourself, who will
    put aside their bias and make a wise, intelligent decision about the
    future of our country. Thank you for making such a decision.

    Kindest Regards,

    Nathan Wolf
    Precinct Member, Precinct 19, Mecklenburg County
    Delegate to the District Convention

    The text of the letter also is available on the following website:


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