Weiner apologises for reaction to woman at campaign event who called Democratic opponent Christine Quinn a 'dyke'

New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner has been criticised for a soft reaction to a woman who called his opponent for the Democratic nomination, Christine Quinn, a "dyke".

In an audio recording from a Saturday event in Queens posted on the Washington Post website, Weiner asks the woman if she's a registered Democrat.

"I am," she said. "And I'm not voting for uh, what's her name? The dyke."

"Okay. I just need you to sign the petition to get me on the ballot," said Weiner, who then noticed the incredulous reaction of a reporter and added, "and you really shouldn't talk that way about people."

"Oh, I'm sorry," the woman said.

"It's okay," Weiner responded. "It's not your fault."

The Wall Street Journal quoted New York asemblywoman Deborah Glick and state senator Brad Hoylman as condemning Weiner for lacking "moral courage". Both are openly gay.

Quinn declined to comment.

Weiner said he apologised if he left the impression he did not do enough.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

© Guardian News and Media 2013