A Georgia state Representative becomes the state’s third openly gay lawmaker after he came out on Friday amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
In a press conference at the offices of Georgia Equality, Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta), said he felt compelled to make the announcement after an e-mail was circulated to state lawmakers accusing him of being gay and of using his position in the Legislature to solicit sexual relationships.
“I’ve spent the last few days with my family and my friends and my pastor. I needed to sit down with them and tell them what I’ve come to tell you and my constituents. And that is that I’m a gay man,” Taylor said.
“The gentleman who wrote the emails is the former partner of the person I am now seeing. And he hoped that he world humiliate and embarrass me by sending this email.
“He alleges that I somehow improperly used my office. While I don’t pretend to understand exactly what he’s talking about, I have nothing to hide. These allegations are absolutely and utterly false.
“For too long … I believed that being gay was something to hide. It was something to ignore. That it was something wrong with me. And unfortunately that attitude is all too prevalent within the gay community.
“I will not buy into the idea that being gay is something to be ashamed of.”
The author of the e-mail, who signed his name as “J. Callahan,” asked for and received instructions from state officials on how to file an official ethics complaint against Taylor, but no complaint has been filed, according to House Ethics Committee Chairman Joe Wilkinson.