Virginia Congressman Urges Fellow Republicans To Reject Gay Candidates


Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) is apparently urging the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) not to support any gay candidates — specifically because they’re gay. This would impact the races of Richard Tisei, who is once again running for Congress in Massachusetts after having narrowly lost in 2012, and Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego City Councilman running in California.

The NRCC helped fund Tisei’s 2012 campaign and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) even traveled to Boston to help him fundraise. Many senior House Republicans have given to both Tisei and DeMaio in their current campaigns, but their support of gay candidates seems not have fazed Forbes’ obstinance on the matter:

On Wednesday, Forbes told POLITICO he thinks “GOP leaders can do whatever they want to do,” in terms of giving money to gay candidates.

He said he is more concerned about members being asked to contribute to the campaigns. The NRCC is partially funded by collecting tens of millions of dollars from House Republicans, who pay dues to the organization. […]

When asked if he would withhold political contributions to the NRCC if they backed DeMaio, Forbes said, “I’m not going to be hypothetical on what we would or wouldn’t do at this particular point in time because you’ve got a lot of scenarios. I don’t think we’ve had primaries and nominations to nominate people. So I don’t want to prejudge.”

Because the NRCC does not involve itself in primary elections, this would only happen should DeMaio win the nomination. NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) told Politico that the committee will not make decisions based on race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Forbes has received a score of 0 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard, having not supported a single LGBT equality measure. He is vying to be the next chair of the House Armed Services Committee, but in 2012, he attacked the Pentagon for allowing military servicemembers to wear their uniforms when marching in San Diego’s pride parade, calling the decision “an outrageous and blatantly political determination issued solely to advance this Administration’s social agenda.” On that committee, he has also supported efforts to enshrine anti-gay discrimination within the military. His website still boasts his opposition to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” expressing his concern that the repeal might imply “official military support for the normalization of homosexual behavior.” In October, Forbes was supposed to be the featured speaker at a luncheon hosted by the American Family Association, an anti-gay hate group, at the Values Voter Summit, but for unknown reasons, he didn’t show.

Forbes is one of the co-sponsors of the so-called “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act,” which would provide a license to discriminate against same-sex couples for all businesses with a religious affiliation. Unsurprisingly, he has previously refused to implement nondiscrimination protections for gay employees in his own Congressional office. He also supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage throughout the entire country. In 2007, he opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on the House floor, arguing that protecting gay people from being fired for their identities could somehow “destroy the institution of marriage.” Watch it: