Election 2024

Extreme anti-LGBTQ+ GOP candidate once encouraged her husband to wear a speedo to Pride

Gabrielle Hanson, Franklin, Tennessee, LGBTQ+, prostitution, MAGA
Gabrielle Hanson Photo: YouTube screenshot

Gabrielle Hanson — an anti-LGBTQ+ MAGA Republican mayoral candidate for the city of Franklin, Tennessee – has been caught red-handed supporting her husband’s flamboyant participation in a Chicago Pride event after trying to shut one down in her own city.

This year, Hanson led an unsuccessful campaign to cancel a Pride festival taking place in a public park in Franklin, claiming children needed to be protected.

But local news station News Channel5 Investigates recently unearthed a 2008 photo of Hanson’s husband, Tom, participating in Chicago Pride wearing nothing but an American flag speedo. Hanson, who was running for Congress in Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District, also gave an interview at the time expressing his wife’s support for his participation.

“I thought how was I going to make an impact in the parade?” he told the Windy City Times. “I’m a Republican, nobody’s going to want to listen to me. So it just came to me. I said maybe I’ll wear an American flag Speedo and my wife said, ‘If you do that, I’ll hold you to it.'”

News Channel5 Investigates recently confronted Tom Hanson about the photo, asking if his presence at the Pride parade was harmful to children.

“We’re talking about Franklin, we’re not talking about Chicago right now,” he said.

The journalist responded, “Do Chicago children not deserve to be protected in your mind? What’s the difference?” Tom Hanson then reportedly walked away.

Gabrielle Hanson’s mayoral campaign has been ripe with controversy. Just last week, it was uncovered that she pleaded guilty in the 1990s for “promoting prostitution” and faced additional charges around the same time for money laundering and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Hanson responded to the allegations with a video explaining that when was a 30-year-old college student in Dallas, Texas she had a job “answering phone calls” for what she thought was a casting and modeling agency, and she had no idea “they had also been operating a very lucrative casting couch.”

But her story doesn’t quite add up. She said she took a plea deal for the charges because she couldn’t afford an attorney, but she and her parents bought a beachfront condo in Florida the previous year. Texas Department of Public Safety data also revealed she used the alias “Julie Newhouse,” something innocent people don’t usually do.

Also this month, Hanson’s aide, Erin Mazzoni, gave a bizarre speech in front of the Franklin Board of Mayor & Aldermen where she claimed that LGBTQ+ people are giving children buttplugs and training them on how to use them.

She said that she moved to Tennessee from Bucks County, Pennsylvania after an alleged buttplug incident, which she claimed caused the community to fall apart. LGBTQ Nation couldn’t find any credible information online that the group she was referring to was “training” kids to use buttplugs.

And the drama doesn’t end there.

Hanson and Mazzoni also allegedly used a picture of women from across the country that they took from social media without consent and claimed that the women in the picture supported Hanson’s candidacy. The photo was used in an August Facebook post by Hanson and showed a group of women that Hanson called “the Executive Women’s Club,” and she thanked them for “their invaluable support and encouragement.”

News Channel 5 then found out that the picture was taken in 2016 in Chicago and tracked down one woman in the picture, identified as “April,” who said she does not even know who Hanson is, much less support her.

“I’m wondering how this person doesn’t have other photos of other friends or actual supporters,” April said. “It’s a really far stretch to dig up a photo from social media from seven years ago of just what was a really delightful brunch of a group of women who just had met.”

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