Alabama’s first openly gay legislator has backed off threats to expose the extramarital affairs of some of her Republican colleagues because she fears being sued for defamation.
State Rep. Patricia Todd, a Democrat, admitted Wednesday morning that she could have handled things differently after she posted a message on Facebook over the weekend threatening to expose the supposed scandalous lives of her fellow legislators due to their opposition to same-sex marriage.
Her goal, she said at the time, was to expose hypocritical conservatives who believe gay marriage is bad for families. She’s now backing down from her threats at her attorney’s request.
“I don’t have proof,” she said Wednesday on the WAPI radio station in her district of Birmingham. “I’m not involved in the affair.
“Some of it’s pretty common knowledge in Montgomery,” she said. “I was advised by my attorney not to say things I don’t have proof that it’s true, because then I could be sued for slander.”
Ms. Todd said she has received death threats since her Facebook post went viral this week. She lamented that she hadn’t heard “a peep” from fellow Democrats or civil rights leaders to support her in light of those threats.
“My life’s been threatened in the past couple of days,” she told The Huffington Post. “A lot of my friends are worried about my safety. The police are patrolling by my house more often. I’ve got an alarm system. I am being careful. But they’re not going to scare me back into my house. I’m not going to let them do that.”