Voters in Groves, Texas recalled an
openly gay councilman on November 6, nine months after it was
revealed that he had included nude photos of himself in private
messages on Grindr, a dating app for gay and bisexual men.
Cross Coburn, 19, was elected to the
post last November.
According to The
New York Times, the photos were sent anonymously to city
officials and later to the local news media, resulting in a petition
to remove him from office.
At the time, Coburn told CBS
affiliate KFDM that he was being “harassed” and
“discriminated” because of his sexuality.
Coburn told the Times this week
that his use of Grindr was irrelevant to his office.
“I regret that [the Grindr images]
got out, but I will never regret being human,” he said. “I do
not believe that me having consensual conversations with another
adult has any merit to how I can perform my duties.”
Coburn has challenged the recall
election, claiming that some of the petition signatures were
forged. He also alleged that Mayor Brad Bailey and Councilman Kyle
Hollier participated in the recall effort.
Chuck Smith, chief executive of
Equality Texas, said that Coburn was targeted for removal.
“Someone organized the equivalent of
a tar-and-feathering to get him removed from office,” Smith told