Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear blasted criticism of his photograph with drag queens at a recent gay rights rally as "homophobic," the Associated Press reported.
What are the details?
Beshear made history last month when he became the first Kentucky governor to appear at a rally for the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign, a group promoting LGBTQ rights, NBC News said. At the event, Beshear posed for a photo with members of two drag queen troupes, the network said.
Last week, Republican state Sen. Phillip Wheeler pulled out his cellphone at a political event and showed his constituents the image of the governor with the drag queens, NBC News said.
"This is what our Democrat governor is about today," Wheeler said, according to the network. "These are the values that the Democratic Party of today is out there trying to convince our children's the right way to live.
"I would have never thought that there'd be a day where we'd have people dressed in devil horns celebrating with our governor in our beautiful capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky," Wheeler added, NBC News said, adding that he said Beshear "celebrates it being defiled."
The governor hits back
But Beshear said he'd repeat the photo op, WLWT-TV reported: "Everyone in Kentucky counts ... I would absolutely take that picture again."
The governor also called Wheeler's comments "absolutely homophobic" and said he owes "an apology to every single person in that picture" and "should do it personally," NBC News said.
Wheeler told WLWT his comments weren't directed at homosexuals but only objected to what the drag queens wore, such as a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket that was modified to resemble a nun's habit.
What did the drag queens have to say?
The Derby City Sisters sent the following statement, WLWT said:
"The Derby City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is an order of sacred clown nuns whose goal is to bring education and awareness of the LGBT+ community. We strive to be present in the community so that others can see they are allowed to be comfortable as they are, where they are in their journey. We would love for anyone (especially Senator Wheeler and Representative White) to come and get to know us! We look atypical as a goal, however, our mission can be easily skewed when someone doesn't know who we are."