It was little more than one year ago that Georgia State Rep. Rashad Taylor announced that he was gay. Taylor was outed via dozens of emails to legislators and statehouse staff, accused of misusing his office and trading jobs for sex. The emails were written by the former partner of Taylor's boyfriend.
Taylor's sexuality is once again an issue. The legislator has denounced a ugly homophobic flyer that he says was distributed last weekend in Black neighborhoods in southwest Atlanta. Taylor and LGBT ally Democratic Rep. Pat Gardner were drawn into the same district and are competing for the new seat. Taylor insisted that Gardner deny and condemn the tactic, reports The GA Voice.
Taylor said he did not believe Gardner was directly involved, but the flyers would help her campaign. "I don't think Pat Gardner is behind it and I believe if she knew about it she would condemn it," Taylor said. "But there are people supporting her perhaps working under the table."
Gardner, a strong LGBT ally during her 11 years in office, said the allegation "makes me want to cry" because it is so far from the spirit of her campaign and her record as a lawmaker. "I have been very clear about gay-baiting and there will be none of it. It's sad because we are playing into the hands of the people who want to divide us," she said. "My campaign knows I feel very sternly about keeping this campaign clean. They work for me."
Taylor is the youngest member of the Georgia General Assembly. The political strategist and Morehouse College graduate turned 30 years old last year. Taylor became the first openly gay male serving in the Georgia legislature. Three of the four openly gay or lesbian state legislators serving in Atlanta are Black: Taylor, Simone Bell and Keisha Waites.
Watch Taylor's news conference and Gardner's denial AFTER THE JUMP ...
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