Rep. Todd Warner from House District 92 is calling for Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally to step down after accusations related to his social media controversy.
Warner claims McNalley “is a predator,” referring to the news related to McNally commenting on photos of a nearly nude, 20-year-old gay man on Instagram.
McNally responded after the uproar of his comments on Instagram by saying:
“I have long been active on social media. I have made a point to engage with people not only in posts but in comments and messages as well. My comments to Franklin McClure and others, which have recently drawn so much attention, are no different. While I see now that I should have been more careful about how my comments and activity would be perceived, my intent was always engagement and encouragement. I apologize 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.
While I have made some mistakes in my use of social media, the characterization of me and my record as somehow “anti-gay” is inaccurate. On a personal level, nothing could be further from the truth. I believe every person has value and deserves respect regardless of their orientation. I am 79 years old, and was raised in a time when homosexuality was deeply shameful. And I absolutely still hold traditional Tennessee values dear. But I now have friends and even a relative who is gay. I have worked hard to try and understand this community better, and at the same time not compromise trying to protect children and my own values. I notably came down from the Speaker’s podium to speak against a bill that would have curtailed gay adoption. 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.
I would encourage everyone to look at my record in its totality. It is both thoroughly conservative and compassionate to others. Though I may disagree with specific policies of certain LGBTQ activists, all people are deserving of love and compassion, no matter their race, gender, or any other attribute.
Criticism of my social media activity is fair, and I have taken it to heart. All I ask is that people look at the facts and my actual record. Again, conservative and “anti-gay” are not synonymous. Not generally and certainly not for me. While I realize it may not happen immediately, I am hopeful this examination of my social media activity will conclude and we can soon all get back to ensuring Tennessee remains the best state in the union to live, work and raise a family.”
However, Warner’s release alleges that McNally groomed the victim.
Not only did Warner call for McNally to step down as Lieutenant Governor in the release, but he also called for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to open an investigation to look into any possible violations of Tennessee criminal law, specifically relating to sexual exploitation of a minor.