While this November 6th’s midterm elections saw several LGBTQ politicians being elected into office, one gay man from Texas was sadly kicked out.
19-year-old Cross Coburn was an openly gay councilman at Groves, Texas only a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, Coburn, who had only served one year of his two-year term, had become the subject of a sex scandal earlier this year.
According to the New York Times, Groves City hall received an anonymous package nine months ago. The package delivered in February contained nude photos of Coburn that were sent through Grindr. Shortly afterwards, Coburn was called into a meeting over a “personal matter.”
“At that point I was confused,” Coburn told the NY Times. “I was a little shocked. I didn’t know what he meant.”
At the meeting, Coburn was presented with the photos. According to Coburn, he was then offered the option of resigning or relenting to an unspecified investigation. Coburn refused both options.
According to Texas Monthly, the local news caught wind of the package. After that, Coburn’s morals were brought into question by the conservative community. This eventually surmounted in a recall petition that garnered over 900 signatures.
“Someone organized the equivalent of a tar-and-feathering to get him removed from office,” said Chuck Smith, the chief executive of LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Texas, to the Times.
In response, Coburn shared that he didn’t regret the messages or the photos.
“I regret that it got out, but I will never regret being human,” said Coburn. “I do not believe that me having consensual conversations with another adult has any merit to how I can perform my duties.”
After the recall was greenlit, over 2,400 citizens (62 percent of the votes) voted against Coburn.
That said, Coburn isn’t taking this situation lying down. He is now challenging the recall and has filed a complaint with the District Court of Jefferson County.
In the now filed complaint, Coburn says that some recall petition signatures were forged, that Mayor Brad Bailey and Councilman Kyle Hollier helped arrange the recall campaign, and that he was initially blackmailed on Grindr.
In addition, Coburn notes how this controversy has instill a new sense of political energy within him.
“It has given me a sense of duty,” he remarked.
h/t: New York Times, Texas Monthly