Randy McNally: Republicans back anti-LGBTQ+ lawmaker after gay thirst trap scandal

Anti-LGBTQ+ Tennessee governor Randy McNally was caught commenting on gay man’s racy Instagram photos.

Republicans have voted in support of an anti-LGBTQ+ lieutenant governor, Randy McNally, despite being found to have commented on and liked numerous thirst-traps on a gay man’s Instagram account.

In 19-17 confidence vote, Tennessee Republicans decided that McNally will remain in his role as state Senate speaker. 

The vote followed the 79-year-old grandfather, who is married, being caught interacting with a number of raunchy photos posted on Instagram by a gay man named Franklyn McClur.

On a post of McClur’s backside in January, McNally commented: “Finn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine!”

In another posted last November, where the 20-year-old appears to be nude, McNally wrote: “Great picture, Finn! Best wishes for continued health and happiness.”

WKRN reported that McNally’s since-deleted account also “liked” a photo of a transgender woman.

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Following his interaction with McClur being exposed, McNally faced calls for his resignation. 

Tennessee governor Todd Warner accused McNally of grooming McClur and he called for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into McNally for “possible violations of Tennessee criminal law related to the sexual exploitation of a minor”.

“Not only have Tennessee Republicans now become the laughing stock of the nation, the bottom line is this: Randy McNally is a predator,” Warner said. 

McNally deleted his instagram account and apologised for his social media activity following the likes and comments being exposed. 

He said: “I apologise for any embarrassment my postings have caused my family, friends, and colleagues. For this reason, I will be pausing my social media activity in order to reflect and receive more guidance on the use of social media.”

Prior to apologising a statement published by McNally’s office accused the left of incorrectly making “something sinister” out of “a great-grandfather’s use of social media”.

‘I’m not anti-gay’

The lieutenant governor, who is under governor Bill Lee’s leadership, has recently supported legislation to ban drag performances in public spaces and critical gender-affirming health care for trans youths.

In the latest attack on LGBTQ+ rights in Tennessee, the state’s Republican-controlled Senate passed the SB 1440 bill on 13 March with a 27-6 vote.

The insidious bill attempts to discriminate against LGBTQ+ Tennesseans by defining “sex” as a person’s “immutable biological sex as determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth and evidence of a person’s biological sex” throughout state code. 

But despite his obvious support for anti-LGBTQ+ bills, in an interview with a Nashville public radio station, McNally insisted he’s not anti-LGBTQ+. 

“I’m not anti-gay,” McNally said. “Well, we pass bills that kind of limit certain things, and I think there are safeguards in there.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), there have been more than 410 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in statehouses across the US in the first few months of 2023. 

Approximately 180 of those bills would target the trans community – the highest number of anti-trans bills in a single year since the HRC began tracking. 

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