Google Plans Fundraiser for Antigay Senator

By Daniel Reynolds

Originally published on Advocate.com July 12 2013 5:50 PM ET

Google is throwing a fundraiser for Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican with a record of voting against LGBT rights issues, according to The Washington Post.

The fundraising lunch, which charges $250 to $2500 per plate, seems to misalign with the tech giant’s past record of backing LGBT causes, including its support of same-sex marriage in the state of Washington, where the company is headquartered.

A Google representative told the Post that the fundraiser should not be interpreted as an endorsement of Inhofe’s positions.

“We regularly host fundraisers for candidates, on both sides of the aisle, but that doesn’t mean we endorse all of their positions,” the spokesperson said. “And while we disagree on climate change policy, we share an interest with Senator Inhofe in the employees and data center we have in Oklahoma.”

In 2011, Google struck a 20-year deal with NextEra Energy Resources, which operates a wind farm that powers Google's Oklahoma data center — with plans to build a second center in the state.

Inhofe has been vocal in his opposition to LGBT issues in recent years. In a 2010 interview with Focal Point, Inhofe, a military veteran, voiced his unwillingness to repeal "don’t ask, don’t tell," attesting that soldiers in combat would be unwilling to fight for gay and lesbian soldiers also serving in the line of fire. That same year, Inhofe opposed enacting marriage equality in Washington, D.C., by filing an amicus brief with 36 other U.S. members of Congress.

Inhofe reconfirmed his antigay stances in 2012 when he released a statement condemning the Obama administration for allowing active-duty troops in uniform to march in San Diego’s Gay Pride parade, reported the Associated Press.

In an accompanying he letter, Inhofe claimed that Obama's administration “continues to force its liberal social agenda on the military by promoting the homosexual agenda, mandating the use of high-cost green energy initiatives, pursuing abortion rights and suppressing the free exercise of religious liberties.”