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Antigay Rep. Chris Lee Resigns

Antigay Rep. Chris Lee Resigns


New York GOP representative Christopher Lee has resigned in a statement read on the House floor after a shirtless photo of him soliciting a woman he met on Craigslist surfaced Wednesday.

"It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York," he said. "I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness. The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately."

The married, socially conservative (and antigay) Republican congressman reportedly sent flirtatious messages and a sexy picture of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist.

The woman, a 34-year-old government employee from Maryland, had placed a personal ad on Craigslist in January, seeking "financially & emotionally" secure men, website Gawker reports. She received a reply from a man using Gmail address belonging to Rep. Christopher Lee of western New York State. The correspondent identified himself as Christopher Lee and described himself as a "very fit fun classy guy," age 39 (seven years younger than Lee's actual age), a lobbyist, and divorced. He went on to provide a photo of Lee, shirtless.

The woman ended contact with Lee after she searched online for him and concluded he'd lied about his age and occupation, then forwarded the e-mail exchanges to Gawker.

A spokesman for Lee confirmed to Gawker this week that the e-mail account belonged to the congressman but said Lee had not sent the messages and believed his account had been hacked. "That could, theoretically, be true," Gawker's Maureen O'Connor observed. "But the evidence suggests otherwise."

She also noted that Lee's "support for 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and vote to reject federal abortion funding suggests a certain comfort with publicly scrutinizing others' sex lives."

Read more here.

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