Nationwide, Republicans shellacked Democrats in the midterm elections, but one group of GOP hopefuls did not get to share in the victory dance — gay Republicans.
In three crucial races that could have sent the first openly-gay Republican members to the House, Carl DeMaio lost a close race to California Democrat incumbent Rep. Scott Peters; Richard Tisei lost to his Democrat opponent, Seth Moulton, in Massachusetts; and New Hampshire Republican Dan Innis lost out in the primary election to GOP opponent Frank Guinta, The Washington Post reports
"Homophobia may not be alive and well, but it definitely is still alive," Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, told the Post, adding, "that day would have been much sweeter had either Mr. DeMaio or Mr. Tisei pulled out a win."
Many attributed DeMaio's loss to last-minute allegations of sexual harassment from two staffers, who claimed DeMaio exposed himself to them, claims which DeMaio has denied, and Angelo told the The Atlantic
, "I do wonder how significant those 11th-hour smears were. Allegations such as these certainly do play into stereotypes that people have of gay individuals."
Angelo called the campaign "the dirtiest, filthiest type of campaign that I have ever witnessed," The Atlantic reported.
DeMaio spokesperson Dave McCulloch told the San Diego Unon-Tribune
: "The false smears impacted or caused an ick factor to our campaign, which we believe turned off evangelical Christians and a group that normally would support Carl. That factor was likely the reason we came up short."
However, despite Republican financial and endorsement backing, the gay candidates' support for LGBT rights and same-sex marriage was seen as having played a major role in their defeats. Tisei, The Huffington Post reported
, boycotted the Massachusetts GOP convention because of lack of support for gay marriage.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told The Christian Post
: "Our opposition to DeMaio is not based on his sexual orientation. It's based upon his policy orientation. He is for redefining marriage."
Connie Mackey, president of the Council's PAC, told the Christian Post: "Give the people a chance to vote on the homosexual agenda and they will defend their religious rights, parental rights, economic rights and all of their personal liberties that are threatened by the alternatives offered."
The Huffington Post noted that six serving Democrat members of Congress are openly gay or bisexual.
On the Democrat side, openly-gay candidates like Rep. Mike Michaud, who lost his race for governor of Maine, and Clay Aiken, who lost a race for Congress in North Carolina, also fared poorly, while Rep. Sean Maloney, D-NY, was re-elected, The Huffington Post noted.
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