Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon has announced publicly that she is gay following a post published this week on a Columbia-based political blog.
Condon said Friday that she made the statement to council members at a meeting Thursday to clarify inaccuracies posted about her in a story on a website. She also said she has been open about her sexual orientation.
“Yes, I’m gay,” Condon told council members. “I don’t think that’s a sex scandal in 2013.”
The website Fits News, on which the story ran, features a mix of political news, insider political gossip and photographs of scantily clad women.
Condon said the story suggested she was engaged in an adulterous relationship that could bring discredit on the county or Charleston County Council. But that isn’t true, she said.
She was married for 15 years, she said. She and her ex-husband separated amicably in 2011. They have since divorced and share custody of their son.
The relationship in which she currently is involved did not begin until she and her ex-husband were legally separated, she said.
Will Folks, who runs Fits News, could not be reached for comment.
Warren Redman-Gress, executive director of the Alliance for Full Acceptance, said he thinks Condon is a ground-breaker for publicly stating that she is gay.
“South Carolina lags behind the nation in the number of openly gay elected officials,” he said.
And Redman-Gress doesn’t think her statement will harm her political career. “Job performance will be the key for most folks,” he said.
He also said that Condon will be an inspiration for young gay people because she is confident in who she is.
Council Chairman Teddie Pryor dismissed as unimportant Condon’s comments, which she made at the end of a Finance Committee meeting during time set aside for individual council members’ comments.
“That’s your business,” Pryor told Condon.
Condon, a Democrat who represents part of the West Ashley area, said she doesn’t think her announcement will impact her relationship with her constituents or her chances of re-election.
“I would think that in 2013, the public cares about the job people are doing,” she said. “My integrity and service to my constituents remain my top priorities.”
Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.
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