Republican Congressional Nominee Breaks With Party To Support Marriage Equality

CA-47 Republican nominee Gary DeLong

Though his party’s official platform calls for a constitutional amendment barring gay marriage, a Republican congressional candidate in California is bucking that position in favor of equality.

Appearing at a League of Women Voters forum in California’s newly-formed 47th congressional district, Republican nominee Gary DeLong was asked to name an example of an idea where he disagreed with his party. He cited three: he’s pro-choice, pro-environment, and pro-marriage equality. “I support gay marriage. They don’t,” said DeLong:

MODERATOR: What is your record on supporting ideas or legislation that you believe in but your party was opposed? How would you handle going against your party’s position and what issues might be involved or have been involved?

DELONG: […] There’s a number of things I disagree with the Republican Party on. I’m pro-choice. They’re pro-life. I support gay marriage. They don’t. I come from a coastal city. I’m very environmentally-oriented. Candidly, the Republican Party is not. There are many, many things I disagree with the Republican Party on.

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Though Republicans as a whole remain staunchly opposed to LGBT rights, there have been a few pro-equality voices emerging recently. For instance, Republican leaders have helped raise money for Richard Tisei (R), an openly gay man running in Massachusett’s 6th congressional district. And in a recent interview with ThinkProgress, Tea Party Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) said he supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which makes it illegal to fire an employee for being LGBT.

In the current Congress just one Republican — Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) — is on the record supporting marriage equality.

DeLong’s Democratic opponent, Alan Lowenthal, also supports marriage equality.

California’s 47th congressional district, which comprises parts of Anaheim and Santa Ana, is considered a swing district.