Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said Monday he was “pausing” all social media activity after it was revealed he was responding to a 20-year-old gay model and other LGBTQ personalities.
The Tennessee Holler reported last week that McNally had liked and commented on risqué photos and videos posted on Instagram by Franklin McClure, a Knoxville artist.
McNally, 79, apologized last week, saying he was “basically trying to encourage (McClure)” and “had no intention of stopping.”
The Republican politician was widely criticized, including on “Saturday Night Live,” with critics calling his behavior hypocritical as McNally had championed anti-drag and anti-trans legislation. However, McClure said he was “sad” that McNally felt embarrassed. about the situation and apologized.
“While I now see that I should have been more careful about how my comments and activities would be perceived, my intent was always engagement and encouragement,” McNally said in a statement Monday.
“I apologize for any embarrassment my posts have caused my family, friends and colleagues. For this reason, I will be pausing my social media activity to reflect and receive further guidance on the use of social media,” she added.
McNally continued, saying that the description of his background as “anti-gay” was inaccurate, despite his own insistence that he has “traditional Tennessee values”.
“Notably I came down from the Speaker’s podium to speak out against a bill that would have restricted gay adoption,” he said. “I have also supported legislation that would protect children and keep obscenity out of the public sphere. And I support traditional marriage. There is no contradiction here.”
McNally described his political record as “totally conservative and sympathetic to others.”
with cable news services