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|Gay candidate announces GOP bid for president|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|April 01, 2011 00:00|
Gay politico and activist Fred Karger filed papers March 23 with the Federal Elections Commission making him the first official candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.
“I am also the first openly gay person, in a major political party, to ever run for president of the United States,” Karger noted in a statement on his campaign website.
Karger said in the statement that he plans to discuss a variety of issues during his campaign, but also stressed the historic nature of his long-shot bid.
“I dedicate today to the six teenagers who took their lives this past fall because they were bullied for who they were. … I want to send a loud and clear message to anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, that you can do anything you want to do in this country,” he said. “You can even run for president of the United States.”
After working behind the scenes on state, local and national campaigns, Karger founded Californians Against Hate, an effort to focus public scrutiny on major donors who supported Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that halted gay marriage in California. Karger has also filed complaints against the Mormon Church and the National Organization for Marriage alleging inappropriate actions in their battles against gay marriage, according to his campaign biography.
In an interview with CBS News, Karger called President Obama a “disappointment” and said he hopes to “make history” if he is able to join in the Republican presidential debates.
“Being a gay Republicans is kind of an oxymoron,” Karger told CBS. “I have been a fighter in my party, I have always been on the more moderate side but I’m also a protege of Lee Atwater. We need to open up this party and that’s one of my reasons for running. The party should not be dominated by one faction or another. It should be open to all.”
Top photo: Fred Karger (Publicity photo)
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