Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., is pushing the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) to deny support to the party’s gay congressional candidates.
House Republicans have two openly gay candidates challenging Democrats this year. Richard Tisei is running again after narrowly losing to Democrat Rep. John Tierney in Massachusetts in 2012. Former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio is challenging Democrat Rep. Scott Peters in California.
The NRCC supported Tisei in 2012.
Fornes said he thinks “GOP leaders can do whatever they want to do,” when it comes to supporting gay candidates, but he’s concerned about members being asked to contribute to their campaigns.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said if DeMaio is the “Republican candidate, that’s who we’re going to back.”
“That’s who I’m going to back,” Hunter told POLITICO. “We’re going to endorse the Republican candidate. That’s it.”
The NRCC isn’t involved in primary elections, so it’s support would only come into play if DeMaio is nominated.
“Our decisions on the Republican nominees we support will not be based on race, gender or sexual orientation but will be based on the strength of their candidacy and their ability to defeat Democrats,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden told Politico in an emailed statement.
Forbes, who is hoping to be the next chair of the House Armed Services Committee, was given a score of zero on the Congressional Scorecard of the Human Rights Campaign. He hasn’t supported any pro-LGBT measure in Congress.
He co-sponsored the “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act” that would license businesses to discriminated against gay couples if it’s against the religious beliefs of the company.