debate

People are deeply divided over whether it was OK for this gay candidate to sleep with students

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.

Related: Gay candidate who slept with students says people calling for him to drop out are being homophobic

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…

Others are absolutely appalled by his behavior…

Then there are those who are pointing out the multiple double standards happening on both sides of the argument…

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.”