Phony gay calls hound candidate for S.C. state Senate

Voters in York and Lancaster counties are getting automated phone calls from a phony gay group claiming to support Democratic candidate Mandy Powers Norrell for the S.C. state Senate.

Norrell said Wednesday that the Alliance for the Advancement of Gays and Lesbians does not exist and says the calls that began Tuesday are likely illegal.

A caller introduces herself as “Allison” and praises Norrell for supporting homosexual unions and abortion rights.

On Wednesday, Norrell and Republican opponent Mick Mulvaney condemned the calls and demanded they be stopped.

“I'm having to combat this one-on-one, and I don't know how many thousands of people this went out to,” said Norrell, an attorney from Lancaster.

Mulvaney said he has “no clue” who produced the calls.

“I'm getting labeled with it and it's not fair,” Mulvaney said. “I didn't do this. This is a reprehensible tactic.”

The two want to replace retiring Greg Gregory in District 16, which represents Lancaster County and most of Fort Mill.

Norrell says the message grossly misrepresents her positions. She opposes same-sex marriage and believes abortion should only be allowed in cases of rape or incest, or when the health of the mother is in danger. Norrell also believes clinics should be required to notify parents before performing abortions on minors.

Mulvaney has raised the issues in the campaign on his own.

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, said she's never heard of the Alliance for the Advancement of Gays and Lesbians.

“I would say this type of gay baiting has no place in modern politics,” Carey said.

The Associated Press contributed.