Awkward Apology Follows Provocative Posts in Tennessee

Gay model found lieutenant governor's comments hypocritical given anti-LGBTQ laws
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2023 2:53 PM CST
Awkward Apology Follows Provocative Posts in Tennessee
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally stands for the Pledge of Allegiance during a special session of the Tennessee Senate in October 2021 in Nashville.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

"I'm really, really sorry if I've embarrassed my family, embarrassed my friends, embarrassed any of the members of the legislature with the posts," Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally told WTVF. It had been pointed out that McNally, a Republican who presided over the session when lawmakers approved bills outlawing public drag shows, had posted admiring comments on photos posted by a gay model online. Using his official Instagram account, McNally liked one photo in which the 20-year-old seemed to not be clothed, and put three red hearts. He put three "on-fire" emojis on a close-up photo of the man from behind, in which he was wearing underwear. McNally commented that the model, who refers to himself in the posts as a prostitute, "can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine."

The model, Franklin McClure, said this week that he thought it was hypocritical of McNally to post such comments on social media while supporting legislation that LGBTQ organizations label as discriminatory, per the Tennessean. McClure said the two had exchanged private messages as well, which he declined to disclose. Asked the reason for his posts, McNally said, "It's that, you know, I, you know, try to encourage people with posts and try to, you know, help them if I can." McNally said he hopes the matter doesn't bounce him from office. In Tennessee, senators choose the lieutenant governor from their ranks, and they can remove the title. (More Tennessee stories.)

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