Three antigay groups have sent a joint letter to Republican leaders announcing their opposition to two gay Republican congressional candidates and a U.S. Senate candidate who supports marriage equality.
The National Organization for Marriage, Family Research Council, and CitizenLink (an affiliate of Focus on the Family) sent the letter late last week, denouncing Carl DeMaio and Richard Tisei, gay Republicans running for the U.S. House from California and Massachusetts, respectively, and Monica Wehby, a straight GOP Senate candidate from Oregon who has endorsed marriage rights for same-sex couples, Mother Jones reports.
"They are wrong on critical, foundational issues of importance to the American people," says the letter, sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and the chairs of the Republican senatorial and congressional campaign committees. "Worse, as occupants of high office they will secure a platform in the media to advance their flawed ideology and serve as terrible role models for young people who will inevitably be encouraged to emulate them." The groups say they "will mount a concerted effort to urge voters to refuse to cast ballots for them in the November election."
The right-wing groups don't openly condemn DeMaio and Tisei for being gay, but instead say they oppose the two men's support, and Wehby's, for "redefining marriage." The organizations also object to all three candidates' support for abortion rights, DeMaio's and Tisei's openness to legalizing marijuana use, DeMaio's endorsement of some gun control measures, and Tisei's position on taxes.
Tisei, interviewed by Mother Jones, said he isn't concerned about opposition from the right. "I think that the majority of people at this point look at organizations like that as going backwards rather than forwards," he told the magazine. "I think [DeMaio] and myself represent the threat that we're people who will be able to move the debate forward and help change the Republican Party. That scares a lot of those groups that are in existence primarily to hold people back. ... I think most party leaders recognize that the majority of younger Republicans have a different opinion and eventually the party needs to move in the right direction."