Metro Weekly

Gay lawmaker implies Alabama governor is a lesbian

Patricia Todd has her job offer at One Orlando Alliance rescinded for encouraging the "outing" of Gov. Kay Ivey

Gov. Kay Ivey – Photo: Facebook.

An openly gay lawmaker in Alabama posted comments on social media suggesting that Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is a closeted lesbian.

Patricia Todd, a Democrat from Birmingham who is Alabama’s only openly gay legislator, recently made the claims about Ivey’s sexuality on Facebook and Twitter. On both platforms, she linked to an AL.com story about Scott Dawson, an evangelist and Republican candidate for governor, who has been attacking Ivey over a domestic violence grant given to Free2Be, an anti-violence organization in Huntsville that advocates for LGBTQ rights.

But Ivey, whose record is not friendly towards the LGBTQ community, claims the grants were federally mandated and that the money for the grant came from criminal seizures and was not from taxpayer dollars.

“I certainly don’t agree with the agenda or the values of that organization,” she said of Free2Be.

In response to that story, Todd took to both Twitter and Facebook, posting: “Will someone out her for God’s sake…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.”

The Ivey campaign, incensed by the implication, blasted Todd, calling her a “liberal political hack” and her suggestion “a disgusting lie.”

“There is absolutely no truth to it,” campaign spokeswoman Debbee Hancock told AL.com.

Ivey, 73, is single and has been divorced twice. She has no children.

Ivey assumed the governorship last year after her predecessor, Robert Bentley, resigned following a scandal, faces Dawson and two others in the Republican primary on June 5.

In 2015, Todd threatened to out closeted politicians with anti-gay records after Republican leaders made comments denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing marriage equality. 

Todd previously announced she will not be running for re-election to her seat in the House of Representatives — which, fortunately, means she’ll avoid any potentially uncomfortable interactions with Ivey should the governor be elected to a full term in her own right.

However, Todd is now facing consequences for her use of social media. She had recently accepted a position as the executive director of One Orlando Alliance, a nonprofit formed in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre, which advocates for the rights of LGBTQ individuals. But on Thursday, One Orlando Alliance announced it had rescinded her job offer

“After careful deliberation, the board of directors of One Orlando Alliance unanimously decided to retract the offer of employment made to Patricia Todd to serve as executive director of the organization,” Jennifer Foster, the chairwoman of One Orlando Alliance’s board, said in a statement. “The board affirms that Ms. Todd’s recent comments are not aligned with the values of One Orlando Alliance. We strongly believe that coming out is a personal choice and we do not support involuntarily outing.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com