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Lesbian lawmaker addresses her sexuality

Lesbian lawmaker addresses her sexuality

Following reports that Republican activists were planning a smear campaign, a Colorado lesbian lawmaker on Thursday said she will publicly address her sexual orientation. State representative Jennifer Veiga (D-Denver) has identified herself as gay at fund-raisers and says many house colleagues are aware of her sexual orientation but that she never made a formal declaration about her sexuality. "I would never make an issue of my sexual orientation unless I knew the attacks were coming," Veiga said. "The truth is, it just shouldn't be an issue." Two Republican Party activists, who asked not to be identified, told the Rocky Mountain News in Thursday's edition that a smear campaign aimed at voters in Veiga's district is taking shape. They believe it would be orchestrated by a few ultraconservative members of the GOP and resemble similar attacks that occurred two years ago, the newspaper reported. The prospect of a personal attack has angered GOP lawmakers who work alongside Veiga. "I think that's absolutely outrageous," said Rep. Nancy Spence (R-Centennial). "I can't imagine there's a Republican that has anything to do with that kind of action. That just, frankly, makes me mad as hell." Veiga said she may be targeted because she heads up the Democrats' effort to win the house back for the first time since 1975-1976. "I think you have to ask yourself, Why is this an issue now, since I've been in office six years?" Veiga said. "The only answer I can come up with is, I'm moving up in leadership in the house, and I'm trying to elect Democrats across the state. And that's threatening."

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