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This Republican Congressman Says The GOP is Too Gay-Friendly

This Republican Congressman Says The GOP is Too Gay-Friendly

Scott-garrett-x400_0

New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett is challenging his party's leadership over fundraising for gay candidates.

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An antigay Republican congressman from New Jersey has apparently gone rogue, bucking with tradition and refusing to side with the leadership of the GOP.

Politico reports Rep. Scott Garrett of Glen Rock, N.J., has voted against the party line, including voting against House Speaker John Boehner's bid for another term as speaker, and refusing to pay his dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee. But that's not the shocking part that has the Human Rights Campaign calling for Garrett's ouster.

The report by Politico quotes sources in a closed-committee meeting on Capitol Hill saying that Garrett stunned the room with this explanation: He withheld his financial support from the NRCC because it actively recruited gay candidates and supported homosexuals in primaries.

His Republican colleagues took it badly, reported Politico, responding angrily that the NRCC's policy is to not discriminate against any candidate because of their sexual orientation, and noting that it isn't in the business of dictating how primaries are run.

According to Politico's source, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina reminded Garrett that he himself donated to Richard Tisei, a gay Republican candidate for Congress in Massachusetts, in 2012. Tisei lost his election.

Another source told Politico the standoff was settled with a deal: Garrett agreed to make a donation out of his pocket to the NRCC's building fund and recount efforts, but would be allowed to continue to stiff the committee on principle.

Garrett's office did not respond to Politico's requests for comment.

The website notes how this battle reveals how hard the party leadership is pushing to enforce unity, especially in the Financial Services Committee, which oversees Wall Street and is one of the more powerful committees in Congress.

Garrett is subcommittee chair in the House Financial Services Committee and a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservatives that Politico reports is putting the brakes on the GOP leadership's agenda.

"Rep. Garrett has been given a position of responsibility as Chairman of a very important subcommittee," said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy in a statement emailed to The Advocate. "Just as the voters in New Jersey will need to decide if Rep. Garrett should continue to represent them given his anti-LGBT voting record, and his desire to arbitrarily pick and choose who should be his colleagues in Congress, Speaker Boehner and House Republican leaders face the same choice. Speaker Boehner should remove Rep. Garrett as a subcommittee chairman and then in November 2016, so should the voters of New Jersey's 5th District."

HRC noted in its statement that Garrett's record reveals he voted against LGBT hate crimes protections, against the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and he twice voted in favor of banning marriage equality.

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The Advocate's news editor Dawn Ennis successfully transitioned from broadcast journalism to online media following another transition that made headlines; in 2013, she became the first trans staffer in any major TV network newsroom. As the first out transgender editor at The Advocate, the native New Yorker continues her 30-year media career, in which she has earned more than a dozen awards, including two Emmys. With the blessing of her three children, Dawn retains the most important job title she's ever held: Dad.
The Advocate's news editor Dawn Ennis successfully transitioned from broadcast journalism to online media following another transition that made headlines; in 2013, she became the first trans staffer in any major TV network newsroom. As the first out transgender editor at The Advocate, the native New Yorker continues her 30-year media career, in which she has earned more than a dozen awards, including two Emmys. With the blessing of her three children, Dawn retains the most important job title she's ever held: Dad.