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
"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."