Alex Morse is the openly gay, four-term Democratic mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts who is currently running for Congress while fielding a college sex scandal.
It all started last week when he admitted to hitting on and having sex with multiple students at UMass Amherst, where he is a political science lecturer, as well from other schools in the Five College Consortium, while he was on the campaign trail.
Morse connected with the students on Tinder, Grindr, and Instagram. Many later said they felt uncomfortable by his advances.
Yesterday, the 31-year-old politician put out a statement saying he never “took advantage” of anyone and apologized for making anyone feel uncomfortable.
He also called the whole story a politically motivated smear campaign rooted in homophobia and said he has no intention of dropping out of the race.
“I am being held to a different standard, one deeply connected to a history of surveilling the sex lives of people like me,” he said.
Of course, everyone and their mom seems to have an opinion on the matter.
Some people don’t see what the big deal is about…
look up Alex Morse. People are trying to cancel him for *checks notes* having gay sex with other consenting adults
— g*rr*tt (@garrrish) August 9, 2020
Have any of the young men who hooked up with Alex Morse complained? Were any his students? If not, why do we need to have an opinion on this?
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) August 8, 2020
In my first year teaching, parents tried to get me fired for having a picture of my parter up. Clear homophobia. Today, “leftists” who are trying to demonize consexual sex between adult men are no better. I support @AlexBMorse
— Patrick Johnson 🌹 (@PatDavidJohnson) August 11, 2020
Alex Morse is getting Katie Hill’d over a consensual relationship. Nowhere is it mentioned anywhere that the involved parties were his direct students. This all feels like a homophobic smear over a gay man’s relationships. I fucking HATE it here.
— Love, Vicky (@vickgarb) August 8, 2020
Alright, some Alex Morse real talk:
I suspect there’s much more to the story and trust the students, but the story so far is all insinuations and no allegations.
Identities should be protected, but what has he actually done?
Has he broken the law or broken campus policy?
— RP Adams (@qwerty4life) August 8, 2020
Maybe the College Dems are attacking Alex Morse not because they are in the grips of “milennial puritanism” but bc they are political hacks trying to kneecap a progressive challenging a powerful incumbent
— Jack Fate (@JacktheFate) August 11, 2020
I confess I am a little confused about the Alex Morse thing. He’s a 31-year-old who… had consensual sex with adults who were not his students and not on his campaign, near as I can tell? Lmk if that’s not accurate but otherwise… why are we policing adult sexual activity?
— Beau Boughamer 🌹 (@BeauInMaryland) August 8, 2020
Gay men spend their lives afraid of the toxic stereotype that they are dirty sexual predators who want to lure children into their “lifestyle,” and now this is the bigoted trope many leftists deploy for *consensual* dates with adults if it violates their little moral codes. pic.twitter.com/YaJMzKOFBJ
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 8, 2020
Alex Morse was elected Mayor of Holyoke when he was 22, and this is how many colleges there are in the immediate area, where gay life would obviously be centered. It’s worth keeping that in perspective. pic.twitter.com/Bf48wqWi5m
— Rob Byrne (@RobByrneDC) August 8, 2020
I don’t think I’ve seen one coherent argument for why what Alex Morse did was wrong on a moral or ethical level. If it comes out that he coerced his students into sleeping with him then I’ll change my mind, but as far as I’ve seen he just messaged people who weren’t his students.
— Gordon Gramsci (@DouggieJones) August 8, 2020
Others are absolutely appalled by his behavior…
Good morning! Please unfollow me immediately if you think Alex Morse did nothing wrong in using his status as a candidate to sexually pursue college students. Thanks!
— every cop contribution is a policy failure (@aaronnarraph) August 8, 2020
The only thing that matters is if the student was at his college—not whether the student was in his class.
Under no circumstances should an employee of a college have sex with a student at that college, even if that student is a consenting adult.
— John Hornbuckle (@JohnRHornbuckle) August 10, 2020
Imma be honest it isn’t even the power dynamic thing that makes me go waitaminute w the Alex Morse thing. I’m just like why u goin after students at the uni u lecture at that’s just weird. U can acknowledge he didn’t do anything criminal & also accept what he did was lil weird
— Dale_Taco 🌈 (@dale_taco) August 11, 2020
YOUNG LGBTQ FOLKS WERE MADE UNCOMFORTABLE BY ALEX MORSE. WHY IS THIS SO HARD FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND?
— Vote by mail for Ed Markey!!! (@SpareBostonian) August 10, 2020
Alex Morse needs to drop out like tonight. His “apology” statement was repulsive. You don’t get to use your sexuality as a shield from inappropriate sexual behavior. A disservice to the LGBTQ community.
— Andrew Palmer (@andrewDC_) August 8, 2020
Old people shut up and stop defending Alex Morse challenge
— Tadea (ACAB) Martin-Gonzalez (@Tadea_mg) August 10, 2020
I was groomed by a 36 yo teacher when I was 17. Any sexual stuff was legally above board and started when I was 18. It’s taken me a long time to forgive myself. Anyone implying that what Alex Morse did is okay because it was legal, is telling on themselves and can fuck off.
— Alannah Boyle (@alannahboyle_) August 8, 2020
Alex Morse, as a professor and a big name locally in Democratic politics, had the ability to exert power over the careers of students in College Dems, even if it was indirect influence rather than direct control. That means that he shouldn’t be pursuing those students
— Opinion Haver (@AsInMarx) August 10, 2020
Repeat after me, Alex Morse apologists:
younger than you
is not the same thing
at the university
you work at.
— ‘B’ the teacher 🌹 (@NC_Leftist) August 9, 2020
a lot of 30+ leftist men are absolutely telling on themselves today
— mikey franklin (@mikeyfranklin) August 9, 2020
Then there are those who are pointing out the multiple double standards happening on both sides of the argument…
Great so I’m assuming all the people commenting in support of Alex had the SAME reaction to when Tara Reade came out?
“Fuck cancel culture” and “we stand with Alex”
Good to know.
— Hunter Petro ⛺️⚪️ (@petro21805) August 10, 2020
The Progressive organizations being silent about Alex Morse is just disturbing to me…
Y’all claim you’re progressives, but don’t call out this shit…
— Brock Meers 🥦 (@BrockMeers) August 9, 2020
Stay away from dudes who hate Kamala Harris and who love arguing about how technically there was consent when a 30-40yo had sex with a teenager.
— Candice Aiston 🍦 (@CandiceAiston) August 9, 2020
A “pattern of behavior of” having consensual sex? What decade is this?
So the guy messages people on grindr. Who cares.
Based on current info, everyone calling on Alex Morse to withdraw should also condemn the DNC for allowing Bill Clinton to speak anywhere, ever. https://t.co/laXRNqoGx8
— Rob Byrne (@RobByrneDC) August 8, 2020
I’m am sick and tired of “leftists” defending the misdeeds of other “leftists” (such as Shahid Buttar and Alex Morse) and claiming it’s either a conspiracy by the establishment or just homophobia or whatever.
— Johnathen #DissolveTheNRA (@johni_sweeney) August 9, 2020
The LGBTQ Victory Fund issued a statement voicing its support for Morse, saying people should “review the allegations and determine whether a straight candidate would be held to the same scrutiny and standards.”
“Alex is taking responsibility for actions that made students uncomfortable and we support the independent investigation by UMass, despite no complaints having ever been made to the university,” the organization said. “But it is critical the media and others avoid reinforcing tired homophobic tropes or sensationalizing this story because of Alex’s sexual orientation.”