Republican Representative of Virginia Randy Forbes is campaigning against gay politicians by requesting that the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) not endorse any gay candidates, simply because of their orientation.
An openly gay candidate, Richard Tisei, is running for Congress in Massachusetts; the former San Diego City Councilmen Carl DeMaio, also openly gay, will be running for Congress in California. Both would be impacted by this effort.
The NRCC have helped endorse both Tisei and DeMaio in their past campaigns, and several senior House Republicans have supported them during their current races. Regardless, Forbes is still striking out with an anti-gay agenda.
On Wednesday, December 4, Forbes told POLITICO that, regarding the funding of LGBT candidates, “GOP leaders can do whatever they want to do.” However, his main concern lies with when members are asked to endorse the campaigns of gay candidates.
In response to a question regarding if he would withhold funding to the NRCC if they were to back gay candidates, Forbes answered ambiguously: “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.”
The NRCC is partially endorsed by House Republicans, so if Forbes were to lay out this confining contingency, the NRCC’s support may be swayed against gay candidates.
However, since the NRCC only supports candidates only after they have won the nomination, this threat will only affect those who have been approved as the nominee.
The NRCC Chairman Greg Walden expressed to Politico that, race, sex, gender, and sexual orientation will not be a factor in endorsement decisions.
Forbes has made his anti-gay viewpoint clear in several different campaigns throughout his candidacy. Unsurprisingly, Forbes has yet to support any LGBT measure and the Human Rights Campaign gave him a zero on their Congressional Scoreboard.
Forbes was outraged by the Pentagon’s decision to allow service members to march in their uniforms during the San Diego Pride parade, calling it “an outrageous and blatantly political determination issued solely to advance this Administration’s social agenda,” as reported by Think Progress. Additionally, he believes that the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will instigate “official military support for the normalization of homosexual behavior.”
Forbes is also a co-sponsor of the “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act” which is an effort to allow for businesses with a religious affiliation to discriminate against gay couples. To that end, Forbes has yet to enforce a nondiscrimination protection policy for LGBT employees who work in his office, as well as opposing the 2007 Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).