Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said Katie Hill’s bisexuality contributed to the coverage of the congresswoman’s scandals.
Hill, 32, resigned from Congress after nude photographs confirmed she was having an affair with a campaign staffer.
David, who heads the largest gay and transgender rights advocacy group in the United States, claimed that Hill was “treated differently” because of her bisexuality and her affair with the female campaign.
"There are so many factors that I think informed how she was treated, which is unfortunate," David said in an interview with The Hill. "I think certainly her being bisexual was probably a factor.”
He noted that he does not have hard evidence that Hill’s sexuality was the reason there was heavy coverage of the affairs, but claimed it would be consistent with discrimination that members of the gay community face.
"So it's not unusual, or it's not a surprise to conclude that she's being treated differently because she's bisexual," he explained. "They face discrimination in the workplace. They face discrimination in housing, and here I would conclude that that was certainly a factor in how she was treated."
Hill admitted to having an affair with her female campaign staffer but denied having an affair with her legislative director, Graham Kelly, which would have violated House ethics rules.
The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into the rumors about Hill and Kelly, but she resigned before the investigation concluded.
In her resignation, Hill claimed she was a victim of an abusive husband and noted that she would be seeking legal recourse from those who posted her nude photographs.