Carl DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republicans running for Congress this year, and he would be at least the third to serve in the House if he wins. But Mr. DeMaio on Thursday will take a step that none of them has, airing a campaign ad that features a shot of him with his same-sex partner.
The clips are brief: A shot of Mr. DeMaio holding hands with his partner, Johnathan Hale, as they march in a gay pride parade in 2012, followed by a clip of the San Diego candidate waving a rainbow flag that symbolizes the gay-rights movement.
The story goes on to note:
Mr. DeMaio, who presents himself as a “new generation Republican,” isn’t a long shot trying to make a splash. He is one of the party’s top challengers this year as it tries to unseat Democratic Rep. Scott Peters. Although other Republicans are running for the seat, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) has given Mr. DeMaio $10,000, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) contributed $5,000. Conservative Georgia Rep. Tom Price kicked in $1,000.
In addition to Mr. DeMaio, two other openly gay Republicans are trying to unseat incumbent Democrats in the House: Dan Innis in New Hampshire and Richard Tisei in Massachusetts.
It’s easy enough to focus on the troglodytes in the GOP, but to pretend that nothing has changed, or can change, is rank left-liberal partisanship. It’s what too many LGBT progressives hope the situation is—that would be the activists who opposed DeMaio’s run for San Diego mayor, which he then narrowly lost to progressive fav Bob Filner, who subsequently resigned after being exposed as a serial sexual harasser.
LGBT progressives also worked to defeat Richard Tisei in his previous run for Congress (another narrow loss by an openly gay Republican).
As I’ve said before, openly gay and gay-supportive Republicans are LGBT progressives’ worst nightmare.
More. James Kirchick reports:
Moreover, it’s not just social conservatives standing in the way of the gay Republican ascendance, but the progressive left as well. “If anything, the blowback has come from liberal Democrats,” DeMaio says when asked about how his sexuality has impacted his political career. “They are afraid this message could take hold and could allow Republicans to be more effective in advancing fiscal and economic reforms that they oppose.”
DeMaio and Hale were booed at the very 2012 gay pride parade featured in his campaign video—not by anti-gay protesters, but by attendees. That same year, a group deceptively named “Conservatives for Gay Rights Supporting Carl DeMaio for Mayor 2012”—paid for “push poll” robocalls in which DeMaio’s homosexuality was put front and center. The group also paid for pamphlets featuring pictures of DeMaio hugging another man and standing alongside a drag queen, stating, “We conservatives know that liberty means that someone can pick a partner of their choice. We commend Carl on his conservative policies and exercising his liberties.”
Not until after the election—ultimately won by former Democratic Congressman Bob Filner, who resigned last August facing multiple accusations of sexual harassment—was it revealed that Democratic supporters of Filner had funded the shadowy group.