Several women have come forward in defense of Republican state Sen. Jack Tate, who has been accused by a former Capitol intern
of complimenting her clothing of sexual harassment, according to Colorado Politics.
Here are a few of the snippets from the article:
Lobbyist Cindy Sovine Miller: “I’ve worked very closely with Sen. Tate, and I’ve never experienced anything like that. He’s very respectful of his wife and his daughter and the women around him. I’m not trying to say sexual harassment isn’t happening at the Capitol, but you guys are pointing the finger at the wrong guy.”
Former State House Rep. and lobbyist Joan Green Turner: “Those are very serious allegations. I have known personally what it’s like to be harassed, to be followed, to have to get the State Patrol involved. Those are very serious things. People have to be cautious about when somebody says something and they take it the wrong way, but to say it’s in that same category? They’re not the same. If there’s a serious allegation, there’s a process. Use it. But Jack Tate treats everybody with respect, from the janitors all the way up to he president of the Senate. He treats everybody kindly.”
Lobbyist Meg Dubray: “I was shocked to hear he was being accused. I didn’t think the story showed anything to the level we had seen in previous stories about other legislators. It can be dismissive of the real, what I would consider egregious actions of some. I feel like you have to be careful — definitions matters. You can’t call everything ‘sexual harassment.’ Definitions do matter.”
Several of the women who have come forward in defense of Tate aren’t your run-of-the-mill Republicans, but Democrats who have worked with Tate in the past. Several of the women noted that it was not helpful to broaden the definition of sexual harassment to include things that were not explicitly sexual in nature, such as complimenting an outfit.
Good for these women for being discerning in their criticism. Sexual harassment should not be tolerated, but diluting the definition of sexual harassment to the point of making it meaningless is not helpful for anyone.