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Wash. GOP Senator: Gay
Is 'Genetic'

Wash. GOP Senator: Gay
Is 'Genetic'

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Washington state senator Dale Brandland, a Republican from Whatcom County, says his belief that people are born gay motivated him to vote in favor of expanded domestic-partnership rights for same-sex couples on Tuesday.

Embattled GOP chairman Michael Steele can find some support within his own party for his statement that homosexuality is not a choice . Washington state senator Dale Brandland, a Republican from Whatcom County, says his belief that people are born gay motivated him to vote in favor of expanded domestic-partnership rights for same-sex couples on Tuesday.

"I guess from my perspective, I've come to the conclusion that people are born gay," Brandland told the Bellingham Herald. "I don't think this is something that they just pick up along the way."

"Once I came up with that kind of conclusion," he said, "it wasn't difficult for me to understand that gay people are going to develop feelings for people of the same sex and will want to get into meaningful relationships."

Brandland, a former sheriff for Whatcom, a northern county adjacent to British Columbia, has previously voted in favor of gay rights. He supported the original 2007 legislation to create a domestic-partnership registry in the state, and he voted for the first expansion of the rights in 2008.

The statewide Faith and Freedom Network of conservatives chided Brandland for his vote in support of expanded domestic-partnership rights, calling him "a gay activist's fantasy."

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