A Republican candidate currently running for lieutenant governor in Virginia is suing after someone sent a homophobic mailer and a group text message accusing him of being “a gay Democrat.”
Of the. Glenn Davis Jr., who is straight, has just filed a defamation suit in Norfolk Circuit Court demanding $ 100,000 in nominal and compensatory damages, plus an additional $ 350,000 in punitive damages against an unknown defendant.
The text, which was sent out last week, urged delegates to the next GOP convention to help Davis “come out of the closet” by not classifying him in the convention and support his opponent Tim Hugo, who is “the only curator running for Lt. Governor.
Meanwhile, the courier, which was paid for by Hugo’s campaign, claimed Davis was not a true Republican.
The text and the mailer featured identical images of Davis attending a Pride 2010 event wearing a rainbow striped shirt.
Davis accused Hugo of being behind the attacks. Last week he took to Twitter to call him: “Tim Hugo sent a mailer attacking me for attending #Pridefest with @RPofVB. I’m sorry for my colleague’s #homophobia, but I don’t think government has a place in our bedrooms.
He believes he is being targeted for not being totally opposed to LGBTQ equality like most of his Republican colleagues. But we still wouldn’t consider him a pro-gay candidate, even though he attended a pride festival 10 years ago.
Although he doesn’t actively work against LGBTQ people (thanks, Glenn!), Davis has been supportive of Donald Trump and he rubs shoulders with a lot of homophobes. On top of that, one of his campaign platforms is “Religious Freedom,” which everyone knows is a code for the legalization of homophobia in the name of Jesus.
We would describe his attitude towards non-cis het people as tolerant, which is better than most Republicans. But he’s a lukewarm ally at best.
In the lawsuit, Davis says he “unabashedly supports equal treatment for the LGBTQ community” and that “his support of the community does not give an anonymous defendant the power to send text messages to voters calling him of “GAY”. “
And in a statement on the trial, he called the text “unethical, illegal and outrageous” and warned: “If bad deeds are allowed to take place without repercussions, we will never see the honesty, integrity and civil discourse return to GOP politics. “
Meanwhile, Hugo has denied having anything to do with it, calling the text “ridiculous and offensive” and swearing it was not from his campaign or one of his associates.
“A recently sent text attacking my opponent Glenn Davis is NOT from our campaign,” Hugo said in a tweet. “We condemn the language used in this ridiculous text. The text that came out tonight to falsely identify us was illegal. We intend to find those responsible and hold them accountable.
A recent text message sent attacking my opponent Glenn Davis is NOT from our campaign. We condemn the language used in this ridiculous text. The text that came out tonight to falsely identify us was illegal. We intend to find those responsible and hold them accountable.
– Tim Hugo (@TimHugo) April 28, 2021
But his campaign manager, Dustin Rhodes, defended the mailer in an interview with local media, claiming he was sent to expose Davis’ “liberal vote record” and noting that the image was taken on the Davis’ public Facebook page.
So, just to recap: Davis says he “shamelessly supports” LGBTQ people even though he campaigns on a “religious freedom” platform. Hugo says no one on his side sent the text message, but his campaign manager admitted to sending the nearly identical mail.
If you ask us, all of these guys are assholes.
Graham Gremore is editor and editor at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.