The gushing Republican posts on the male model’s Instagram are driving the internet wild

Randy McNally, Tennessee’s lieutenant governor, said he “loves engaging with voters” and “has no intention of stopping.”

The Republican politician posted the comments on pictures of 20-year-old Franklyn McClur, who shares lewd pictures on the platform under the name franklynsuperstar. In his comments, first published by local news site The Tennessee Holler, McNally frequently referred to McClur by his nickname “Finn”.

Earlier this year, McNally was chairman of the Tennessee Senate when it passed legislation banning age-limited drag performances in public spaces and gender-affirming child care. These bills were later signed into law by the state governor, Bill Lee.

James McNally is the 50th Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee. His rep said he “has no intention of stopping” after it was revealed he’d enjoyed cheeky Instagram photos of an LGBTQ model. .gov

In recent months, there has been intense debate about LGBTQ rights in the United States, with Republican states passing a number of laws impacting the community.

In an Instagram post, McClur shared what appeared to be a nude photo, to which McNally replied: “Great pic Finn! Best wishes for continued health and happiness.”

In another post, McClur shared a photo of his underwear clad buttocks, to which McNally wrote, “Finn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine!”

In a third post, McNally responded to a photo of the amateur model in her underwear with the caption, “Great look Finn.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail, McClur said he also exchanged private messages with McNally but declined to reveal the contents.

In a statement to multiple news outlets, McNally’s spokesman Adam Kleinheider said his boss stands by his decision to post “encouraging things” to other social media users.

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He said: “Attempting to imply something sinister or inappropriate about a great-grandfather’s use of social media says more about the thoughts of the left-wing activist making the implication than it does about Randy McNally.

“As everyone in Tennessee politics knows, Lt. Governor McNally a prolific commentator on social media. He goes to great lengths to read every post he can and often posts encouraging things to many of his followers.

“Does he always use the right emoji at the right time? Maybe not. But he enjoys interacting with constituents and Tennesseans of all religions, backgrounds, and orientations on social media. He has no intention of stopping.”

Newsweek has independently emailed McNally for comment.

A number of Twitter users hailed McNally after the statement was released, commenting: “That’s right. Be proud Randy. Be who you are.”

Another wrote: “Fabulous Randy McNally! Now protect your constituents from harmful and discriminatory laws.”

Other users on the platform suggested McNally was being hypocritical about recently passed LGBTQ laws in Republican states.

Elizabeth Madeira, an organizer for the progressive Southern Christian Coalition, tweeted: “I have no problem with Randy McNally’s sexual orientation. But I have a huge issue with his discriminatory laws against the LGBTQ+ community, which angers me.”

A second Twitter user jokingly added, “If only Randy McNally supported all gay Tennesseans with the same generosity he shows to this poor boy who can’t afford pants.”

McNally has previously spoken out against legislation targeting the LGBTQ community, such as in 2019 when he expressed concern over a number of proposals, including legislation defying a Supreme Court ruling that would limit same-sex equality marriage legalized.

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In response, McNally expressed concern about the impact these proposals could have on both local businesses — after similar laws have sparked boycotts in other states — and individual liberties.

Speaking to The Tennessean, he said: “We will only be sensitive to the impact that some of this may have on business and events that may occur in Tennessee.

“We also want to be sensitive to the rights of the individual.”