Republicans supportive of gay rights — and at least one prominent Democrat — are backing New York Congresswoman Nan Hayworth in her challenge from an out gay candidate, Sean Patrick Maloney.
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A Republican political action committee formed earlier this year to back Republicans supportive of gay rights, primarily marriage equality, will support Rep. Nan Hayworth with a $250,000 cable TV ad buy in the district, PAC officials told BuzzFeed today.
The move by the American Unity PAC comes less than two weeks after Hayworth made the most supportive comments she's made to this point on the issue of same-sex marriage. According to Gay City News, at an Oct. 15 debate in the race, "Hayworth reiterated that she “certainly respect[s]” the right of states to define marriage as they see fit, but also that she “respect[s]” the fact that New York has made its choice. That position clearly does not embrace marriage equality nationwide, but it suggested that Hayworth sees the issue as a settled matter in New York."
Now, the American Unity PAC is putting money behind her race against Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney, a former Clinton administration staffer who is gay. Both Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud, two gay conservative groups, also have endorsed Hayworth in her race.
What's more, the growing group of Republican donors backing marriage equality — hedge fund manager Paul Singer helped form the PAC — appear to be bringing along at least one prominent Democrat in their cause of keeping Hayworth in Congress: lawyer David Boies.
David Boies and his wife, Mary, have contributed a total of $5,000 to Hayworth in her election, campaign finance records show. Boies did not respond to an email on Friday evening seeking information about his contribution.
Boies previously was best known for his arguing in the Supreme Court on Vice President Al Gore's behalf. In recent years, though, one of his most-noticed activities has been teaming up with conservative lawyer Ted Olson — his Bush v. Gore opponent — to fight California's constitutional ban on marriage between same-sex couples on behalf of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
Of Singer's founding of the PAC, AFER's founder, Chad Griffin, told The New York Times at the time, "It’s absolutely necessary …. We will never win marriage equality without bipartisan support."
Griffin now runs the Human Rights Campaign, which has endorsed Maloney.