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Queens Chronicle

Weiner scandal draws protesters to Forest Hills

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Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 12:27 pm | Updated: 2:32 am, Thu Oct 11, 2012.

A group of city residents led by the Middle Village-based Juniper Park Civic Association called on Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens and Brooklyn) to resign during a protest outside his Forest Hills office on Sunday. A band of Weiner supporters started a counter protest a little later, and people on both sides of the issue exchanged words about the sexually charged controversy surrounding the congressman.

Those who want Weiner to resign over sending erotic photos of himself to women around the country via social networking websites — and lying about it for 10 days before confessing — chanted “Resign today, rehab tomorrow.” They also carried signs with slogans including “Congressman, have you no shame?” and “Moral relativism on display.”

The latest poll, however, one conducted by NY1 and Marist College, shows that 56 percent of Weiner’s constituents want him to stay in office. Some of those supporters came out to chant “We support Weiner” at a counter-demonstration.

Weiner has entered a treatment program, according to his spokeswoman, Risa Heller, though it’s not clear what exactly he is being treated for. The speculation is that it’s sex addiction. He has asked for a leave of absence from the House, though the Democratic Party leadership has called on him to resign, as Republican Party officials did earlier. The latest risque photos of Weiner show him in the House gym in various degrees of undress. Meanwhile police in Delaware have interviewed a 17-year-old high school girl who had private chats with Weiner via the Twitter website, though the authorities and her family both say there was nothing illicit about their conversations. In at least six other instances, Weiner either had sexually explicit discussions with women from around the country, sent them photos of himself unclothed, or both.

The congressman has been married for a little less than a year to Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Abedin, who The New York Times reported is pregnant, citing sources close to the couple, is abroad with Clinton. She is expected to return Wednesday, according to national media outlets, and Weiner reportedly will make a decision about whether to stay in his seat or resign after she returns. So far, he has said he will not quit. If he remains in office, he faces an investigation by the House Ethics Committee over the scandal.

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