Months after using racist, sexist language to describe sex workers, a Delaware lawmaker will resign from the state House of Representatives, citing post-traumatic stress disorder.
Representative Gerald Brady, D–4th District, announced Friday that his last day on the job will be Feb. 4. He made the initial comments in an email on June 27 of last year, which he inadvertently sent to an advocate for decriminalizing prostitution.
In a press release, Brady made no mention of his outburst directly, but he did say that
“The grim reality of this condition for those of us who live with it is long periods of silent suffering, which can be punctuated by episodes or conduct that may make little sense to people who do not understand the nature of PTSD.”
Brady said he developed PTSD after serving in the Middle East over the last two decades as a member of the Delaware National Guard. He said that as a result of his deployment, he lost most of his hearing and has been “dealing with the challenges it presents daily.”
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The News Journal of Wilmington reported that the advocate for decriminalizing prostitution had sent Brady a Princeton University study that suggested the presence of strip clubs led to a decrease in sex crimes in a New York City police precinct. The person connected the study to a 30-year period in Rhode Island during which indoor prostitution in massage parlors and strip clubs was decriminalized, and called on Delaware lawmakers to do something similar to protect sex workers.
The study sent to Brady did not directly mention Asian women in relation to sex work and strip clubs. It contained a single reference citation to a 2018 analysis of sex crimes and prostitution in South Korea in a publication called “Asian Development Perspectives.”
“Is the dude basically saying, if we provide free (sex acts) for Uncle Pervie there will be few rapes and few (a slur for Chinese women) will be shipped in CONEX containers to the Port of Wilmington??” Brady replied from his official government email address.
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The message was intended for a private citizen whom Brady knows, asking the person to read and summarize the study, according to Drew Volturo, spokesman for the House Democratic Caucus. Instead, Brady hit “reply” and emailed the original sender.
Delaware lawmakers have exempted their emails and the emails of legislative staff from Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act, but Brady’s email was shared with The News Journal.
“There is no excuse I can offer that explains my embarrassing and shameful words that insulted, stereotyped and dehumanized an entire culture while making light of a serious human rights crisis,” Brady wrote in a statement issued through a spokesman at the time.
Governor John Carney at the time called Brady's emailed remarks "horrific and completely unacceptable."
Brady has served in the state House since 2006.