Job offer retracted after social-media post
One Florida candidate implied Ala. governor gay
The One Orlando Alliance has retracted its offer to make Patricia Todd, Alabama's only openly gay state legislator, its new executive director after Todd posted comments on social media implying that Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is gay. Todd was to begin her new role on June 1.
“The Board affirms that Ms. Todd’s recent comments are not aligned with the values of One Orlando Alliance,” said Jennifer Foster, chair of the alliance’s board of directors, which voted unanimously Thursday to withdraw its employment contract to Todd. “We strongly believe that coming out is a personal choice, and we do not support involuntarily outing.”
Todd, who is not seeking re-election, had posted her comments on Facebook and Twitter Tuesday night, writing that she was “sick of closeted elected officials.” In early May, she wrote that she had been hired for the One Orlando post and said she was selling her Alabama home.
She could comment.
Foster called the situation “challenging.” not be reached for
“While Ms. Todd has a well-established record of outstanding service to the community, her lapse in judgment has led us to end our relationship with her,” Foster said. “We admire her many decades of exemplary service and believe that, with the right opportunity, Ms. Todd will continue to use her many talents to make significant progress advocating for justice and equality.”
Ivey’s campaign labeled Todd’s comments “a disgusting lie” — and Todd has since removed them from public view.
Christopher J. Cuevas of QLatinx, a One Orlando Alliance member organization, said Todd’s comments were “a violation of the sacred rite that we as queer people undergo in our journey of self-discovery.” “It is a form of psychic and emotional violence; a violence that robs one of their ability to self-actualize and manifest their truth; a violence that hinders the fostering of fellowship and community,” he said. “When our humanity is violated in this way, how can we find space to begin healing ... and to promote the healing and growth of others?”
The One Orlando Alliance, formed after the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016, is a nonprofit coalition of over 30 LGBTQ groups and ally organizations in Central Floirda. Its mission is to “create a safe, welcoming and inclusive community for all LGBTQ+ people.”
Foster said the board of directors has reopened its search for a new leader but did not set an expected timeline. “I think we have to take as long as it takes,” she said. “We want the right person.”
The initial search, begun last September, drew nearly 90 applicants. Foster declined to say how much the position pays.
The organization, which has been building slowly since its launch, has been led since last June by an interim director, Justine Thompson Cowan, a consultant for nonprofits. She will continue that role until a new executive director is chosen.