Equality Alabama finds Ivey outing tweet, response 'problematic'

Updated: May. 16, 2018 at 6:28 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Equality Alabama, a gay rights advocacy group, isn't happy with a tweet by the state's first openly gay legislator that calls for the outing of the governor as a suspected lesbian. And the group is equally unhappy with reaction to the tweet.

Former legislator Patricia Todd's tweet went out at 7:33 p.m. Tuesday and quickly spread across the state. It took 16 hours before she's locked her Twitter account, but not before screenshots of the tweet were taken.

Todd calls for someone to out Gov. Kay Ivey as a lesbian because she was "sick of closeted elected officials."

Executive Director Michael Hansen of Equality Alabama says the tweet and the response are "problematic" on multiple levels.

He calls the tweet a smear and says it's even worse because it insinuates that being gay is bad, calling that a fundamental flaw in outing someone else.

He says people don't realize just how many LGBTQ conservatives there are in Alabama and by throwing rumors in the mix, these politicians are alienating those voters.

The director says it doesn't matter what Gov. Kay Ivey's sexual orientation is, and believes there is a bigger picture.

"That's a side issue for me. What I am looking at is a bunch of adults engaged in using our community as a political football," Hansen says. "Kicking us around to score points, and I think people in Alabama are sick and tired of these kinds of politics, old style of politics."

Hansen is urging Alabamians to bridge their differences, come together, and not to let differences tear people apart.

Gov. Ivey has reacted to Todd's tweet, saying she is "shocked and appalled an elected official would do such a thing."

Todd has declined requests for comment or an interview.

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