Patti Lupone accused of homophobia after telling senator to come out

Patti Lupone behind a microphone

Broadway legend Patti Lupone has come under heavy criticism after telling US Senator Lindsey Graham to “bite the bullet and come out.”

Lupone went after Graham after she refused to condemn President Donald Trump for telling four American congresswomen of colour to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Graham was given the opportunity to rebuke the president during an appearance on Fox and Friends on Monday (July 15), but declined.

Instead she called the congresswomen—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar—a “bunch of communists,” “anti-Semitic” and “anti-America.”

Lupone attacked the Republican senator on Thursday (July 18), tweeting: “Lindsey Graham you are a disgrace. On a personal note, why don’t you just bite the bullet and come out. You might just come to your senses.”

I fail to see how Lindsey’s sexual behaviour is any of your business.

Lupone’s followers were quick to share their disappointment.

“Wow! Patti LuPone is homophobic! Who knew?” wrote one.

“Do you realise what you just said? You are the disgrace,” added another, with a third tweeting: “I fail to see how Lindsey’s sexual behaviour is any of your business.”

Patty Lupone previously given LGBT ally award

Lupone, who recently made her debut in the acclaimed queer drama Pose, has long been viewed as a gay icon.

In 2014 the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) gave her its Ally For Equality Award.

At the time, HRC said: “As a singer and actress, Patti LuPone has publicly supported LGBT+ equality for many years and has said that her vocal LGBT following gives her credibility.”

In her acceptance speech, Lupone called for marriage equality, which was introduced to the US a year later in 2015.

More recently she has shared her support for gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and US football player Megan Rapinoe, tweeting on Thursday (July 11): “Gays rule. Megan rules. Mayor Pete rules. Old straight white men not so much.”

Donald Trump labelled racist

Following Trump’s initial outburst on Sunday (July 14), his words were widely derided as racist, a charge he has denied.

He has since continued to spew his rhetoric, again targeting Omar—who fled her native Somalia aged 10 to escape war, and has been an American citizen since the age of 17.

The Democrat–one of two Muslim congresswomen, along with Tlaib—has previously apologised for “unknowingly using anti-Semitic tropes” when talking about Israel.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks as Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib stand next to her listening

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib (L-R) (Alex Wroblewski/Getty)

At a rally on Wednesday, Trump told his supporters that Omar “had a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.”

In response, the crowds shouted “send her back.”

Trump has since said that he “felt a little bit badly” about the vile chants.