During a May 2 conference call about federal funding for fighting the coronavirus, a Trenton city councilmember laced into out gay Mayor Reed Gusciora in a homophobic rant that included calling him a “pedophile,” a “woman,” and a “bitch ass.”
Councilmember Robin Vaughn, who represents Trenton’s West Ward, went on for 10 minutes in her curse-filled attack on Gusciora, according to NJ Advance Media, which obtained the audio of the conference call and reported it on nj.com.
Garden State Equality, Victory Fund demand that Robin Vaughn resign her office
During discussion of $3 million in funding the city is getting from the federal government, Gusciora made mention of criticism Vaughn had made on social media that he characterized as accusing the city of “funding a bunch of do-nothing organizations.”
The mayor told NJ Advance Media that prompted Vaughn to launch into her attack.
“She just spews out her hatred when she disagrees with what you have to say,” the news site quoted Gusciora saying.
The mayor also said, “This is pretty much par for the course, unfortunately, for the councilwoman. She went on a complete meltdown, a tirade.
The efforts by another councilmember, Joe Harrison, to calm the waters instead led to a shouting match between him and Vaughn, according to nj.com. Harrison referred to Vaughn as “Radioactive Robin.”
According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which works to elect out officials nationwide, Vaughn charged that Harrison “sucks the mayor’s dick” and that Gusciora brings “a bunch of young boys” to City Hall where they are “sitting up there in the mayor’s suite.”
The Trenton City Council has recently gained a reputation for its members resorting to bigoted and derogatory terms in its official business.
In September, Council President Kathy McBride, during an executive session, said, that in negotiating a settlement on behalf of the city, a Jewish member of the city’s legal department was able to “Jew her down.” At that time, Vaughn and another councilmember came to McBride’s defense. All three eventually apologized over the incident, but the entire 12-member New Jersey congressional delegation called on McBride and her supporters to resign from the Council. All three chose to hold onto their posts.
In the wake of Vaughn’s latest outrage, Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s LGBTQ rights organization, is calling for her resignation.
“Councilwoman Vaughn is unfit to serve the people of Trenton,” the group’s executive director, Christian Fuscarino, said in a statement. “There’s no need to parse words here: for her hateful anti-LGBTQ language and defending the anti-Semitic slurs of others, she must resign. Her words are an attack on the diversity of Trenton’s community, the city’s elected leadership, and our state as a whole.”
The Victory Fund also called on Vaughn to resign.
“Councilwoman Vaughn relied on the oldest and ugliest of stereotypes to launch her homophobic tirade against Mayor Gusciora — much as she did in defending anti-Semitic comments last September,” said Annise Parker, the Victory Fund’s president who is a former three-term mayor of Houston. “It is now a pattern, and her use of and support of such hateful language proves she is entirely unfit to hold public office. As one of the few openly LGBTQ mayors in New Jersey and one of the first public officials to advocate for marriage equality, Mayor Gusciora has developed tough skin and will continue to lead. But for the many LGBTQ kids in the West Ward who already struggle to take pride in who they are, we call on Trenton city leaders to unite in demanding the resignation of Councilwoman Vaughn.”
On May 4, Vaughn’s office voicemail box was full and she did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
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