Outing a GOP governor costs lesbian former politician her new job

Patricia Todd AP

Earlier this week, former Alabama representative Patrica Todd – the first openly gay person to serve in the Alabama legislature – got frustrated with Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s homophobic statements.

“Will someone out her for God’s sake,” Todd posted to Facebook and Twitter.

“I have heard for years that she is gay and moved her girlfriend out of her house when she became Gov. I am sick of closeted elected officials.”

Todd did not give any more details about Ivey.

Todd, who was the state director for HRC in Alabama, was set to take the role of Executive Director of the One Orlando Alliance, an LGBTQ organization in Florida.

But the organization announced yesterday that they are rescinding the job offer.

“The Board affirms that Ms. Todd’s recent comments are not aligned with the values of One Orlando Alliance,” Jennifer Foster, chair of One Orlando Alliance’s board, said in a statement. “We strongly believe that coming out is a personal choice and we do not support involuntarily outing.”

“Weaponizing queerness through the act of outing others is a violation of the sacred rite that we as queer people undergo in our journey of self-discovery,” said Christopher J. Cuevas in the statement.

Todd posted her comments about Ivey’s sexual orientation after the governor made an anti-LGBTQ statement as a part of her Republican primary campaign.

“I certainly don’t agree with the agenda or the values of that organization,” Ivey said about Free2Be, a local nonprofit that provides services for LGBTQ victims of domestic violence.

Her primary opponent accused her of giving state money to Free2Be; Ivey said the organization only got federal money she had no control over.

Ivey, who divorced her husband around 50 years ago and hasn’t remarried, said that Todd’s Facebook post was a “disgusting lie being pushed by a paid liberal political hack.”

“Whether these attacks are malicious or ignorant or both, they represent everything that’s wrong with politics today,” Ivey wrote in a statement.

In a radio interview, she said, “It’s disgusting. It’s false. It’s a bald face lie.”

At Crooks & Liars, Matt Osborne reports that an activist in Alabama who wanted to remain anonymous said that Ivey’s sexual orientation has “never been a secret in Montgomery.”

“The 2nd worst kept secret to (ex-governor) Bentley’s girlfriend,” the source said.

At this point, though, they’re still just rumors that Ivey herself denies.

Todd has since made her social media accounts private.

Free2Be, the LGBTQ organization that was at the center of the original political dispute, closed its doors in the years since it received federal money, citing “alarming financial issues.”

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