Chris Rowe, chairman of the New Castle County Republican Committee, was asked to resign after he used a homophobic slur on social media. According to screen captures posted on Blue Delaware on Dec. 31, Rowe used the word “fa–ot” on Facebook in response to a string of comments on his page.
Members of the Delaware Republican Party made it clear that there is no tolerance for such language.
“Neither I nor the Delaware Republican Party, which I represent, condone any statements that demean or show disrespect to others,” said Republican Party of Delaware Chair Jane Brady. “His comment was offensive and did not reflect the values of respect and tolerance held dear by the Delaware Republican Party.”
Rowe agreed to step down upon Brady’s request and will be submitting his resignation over the weekend. Although he initially refused to apologize for using the phrase “Fa–ots cannot handle reality,” in Facebook comments, he ended up saying sorry for his offensive word choice.
“I just got frustrated and used an improper word,” Rowe said in an interview with WHYY on Jan. 3. “If the use of this word in any manner, injured or upset or really hit hard at the emotions of an individual and hurt them… I’m heartfully sorry.”
Brady also said that many in the Delaware GOP found Rowe’s words to be pejorative.
The state of Delaware banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in 1990, and in 2009, incorporated laws blocking such discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing and other domains.
In 2013, former Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed the Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act, barring discrimination on the basis of gender identity and increasing legal ramifications for those who target people based on such. Markell said on the Delaware government news site,
“Our mission to build a welcoming and accepting state that can compete in the global economy requires laws that reflect our values. Today, we guarantee that our transgender relatives and neighbors can work hard, participate in our communities, and live their lives with dignity and in safety.”
Still, another official in the Delaware GOP received harsh criticism for using anti-semitic language on Facebook. Sussex County Republican Party Vice-Chairwoman Nelly Jordan said on the social media site, “Many Jews ‘In Name Only’ lend themselves to be in the hoaks (sic) of the pure made up story of impeachment that the Democrats have woven. Fortunately for us the people that believe that God gave us a brain to think for ourselves can see through the madness these left socialist believers had concocted against a President … God please have mercy on them, some of the Jewish people are doing today as it was in the times of the Old Testament, go against God’s will even after He had mercy on them.”
Although Brady is unable to remove Jordan from her position, the Sussex County body will take measures to remove her from the role, WHYY reported.
Brady told WHYY that Rowe and Jordan’s actions do not reflect the values of the Delaware Republican party, as did the leaders of Delaware’s House of Representative Republican Caucus in a statement last week. The leaders called for Rowe and Jordan to apologize and resign from their positions.