After an online petition drive garnered hundreds of signatures seeking her apology, Lieutenant Gov. Jennifer Carroll on Thursday apologized to the head of an advocacy group saying that her anti-gay comment two weeks ago was "wrong and inexcusable."
Equality Florida, a civil rights group that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Floridians, launched the online petition campaign this week after Carroll told a Tampa television station on July 14 that "usually black women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that."
Carroll was responding to allegations that a former aide caught her in a "compromising position" with a female staffer. Carroll has denied the allegations and is fighting the charges in court.
"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 director Nadine Smith. "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 that may have been hurtful to members of your organization and to other Floridians.
"Please know that I am committed to treating every person with the utmost courtesy, respect and dignity and I hope you will accept my heartfelt apology,'' she wrote.
Smith said she spoke to Carroll after receiving a fax of the letter and thanked Carroll "for taking responsibility for her words."