South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, has denied rumors he's gay after comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted a joke about his sexual orientation.

Handler on Thursday joked in a tweet that Graham was celebrating National Coming Out Day.

“If you're wondering why Republicans took a sick day today, it's probably because it's #NationalComingOutDay. Looking at you @LindseyGrahamSC,” Handler tweeted. on Friday caught up with Graham at Reagan National Airport, where he was asked about Handler's tweet.

“It's a free country,” Graham said. “She can say what she wants to say. I don't care. She knows zero about me. To the extend that it matters: I'm not gay. These comments, I don't think they reflect well on her.”

Handler made a similar joke in January.

“Holy, fuck fuck,” she tweeted. “I just [watched] the video of trumps bipartisan 'meeting' yesterday. Hey, @LindseyGrahamSC what kind of dick sucking video do they have on you for you 2 be acting like this? Wouldn't coming out be more honorable?”

Graham has fought off such rumors for years. In 2010, the unmarried 63-year-old Graham told The New York Times: “Like maybe I'm having a clandestine affair with Ricky Martin. I know it's really gonna upset a lot of gay men – I'm sure hundreds of 'em are gonna be jumping off the Golden Gate bridge – but I ain't available. I ain't gay. Sorry.”

Graham has compiled an impressive anti-LGBT voting record while in Congress. He scored 24 points in the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) latest Congressional Scorecard, which measures a lawmaker's support for LGBT rights, up from zero in the 113th Congress.

Handler has come under fire for poking fun at Graham's sexual orientation, with some people on social media questioning why an ally of the LGBT community would portray being gay as something negative and others saying that the joke is just tired.