Responding to calls from the National Organization for Marriage for social conservatives to vote for pro-LGBT Democrat Seth Moulton over his openly gay Republican opponent, Richard Tisei, Moulton’s campaign refused such support Thursday.
Asked whether Moulton would welcome or reject votes cast in his favor by NOM supporters, a spokesperson for Moulton responded, “Reject.”
“Seth Moulton fundamentally disagrees with everything NOM stands for and has long said that equality is the civil rights fight of our generation,” said Carrie Rankin, Moulton’s communications director. “Fighting against groups, like NOM, that deny equality as a basic human right will be a priority of Seth’s in Congress.” Rankin noted that Moulton has a gay brother and Moulton has said, “It’s fundamentally wrong that he and I don’t share the same rights just because of who he is.”
Moulton’s rebuke of NOM’s support comes as the anti-marriage equality organization has targeted Tisei and other pro-LGBT Republicans in recent weeks.
NOM has spent more than $4,000 against Tisei in Massachusetts’s 6th Congressional District, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In an Oct. 28 fundraising plea to supporters, Brian Brown, president of NOM, urged supporters to vote for Tisei’s more liberal opponent rather than send a Republican to Congress opposed to the “values of marriage, family, and life” that the Republican Party platform stands for.
“The National Organization for Marriage urges you to refuse to vote for Richard Tisei. In fact, we ask you to vote for the Democratic candidate, Seth Moulton, even though Moulton is also wrong on the issues,” Brown wrote. “The reason for this is that Moulton can’t do any damage as a Democrat in a House of Representatives controlled by Republicans, and we can work together to elect a true conservative in two years to replace him. But Richard Tisei serving as a supposed Republican in a House controlled by Republicans can do great damage, and could end up holding the seat for decades.”
NOM has launched attacks against openly gay Republican Carl DeMaio in California’s 52nd Congressional District as well. The organization has spent more than $6,000 against his candidacy and Brown has asked voters via robocalls to cast their ballots for DeMaio’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Scott Peters.
According to Alex Roth, communications director for the Peters campaign, the congressman condemns such attacks, but Roth did not specifically say whether Peters rejects votes from NOM supporters.
“As a long time champion for LGBT equality who is endorsed by the nation’s leading LGBT rights groups, Scott Peters strongly condemns all attacks of this sort,” Roth said in a statement to Metro Weekly. “They have absolutely no place in politics or anywhere else.”
Peters has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign. Metro Weekly reported yesterday that HRC is unlikely to endorse in the race between Tisei and Moulton, although Tisei has been endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
In an Emerson College Poll released Thursday, Tisei is leading Moulton by two points, 42 percent to 40 percent. Should either Tisei or DeMaio win their races, they would become the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress.