Jonathan Crutchley, the chairman of the board of popular gay dating site Manhunt.net, has been forced to resign after it was revealed he made a $2,300 (£1,235) donation to the campaign of presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain.

In response to concerns that the website might be perceived as supporting John McCain, executives at Manhunt asked Mr Crutchley to step down and then went public with their request to eliminate any doubts about such support.

In an email to the blog Towleroad, Manhunt co-founder Larry Basile said:

“It should be known that Jonathan Crutchley’s donation to McCain left the entire Board in disbelief.

“I am disappointed that we have lost some customers, and I understand the anger.

“It is too bad for the web site if we lose customers, but PLEASE never refer to me as a Republican. I consider it an offence.”

According to Ben Smith’s blog at Politico.com, Mr Crutchley defended his donation on similar grounds to those McCain has offered on other hot-button social issues: They agree on national security issues, and can argue domestic policy later.

Mr Crutchley’s support of McCain underscores ongoing concerns about disunity in the Democratic party and the possibility that once steadfast party supporters may vote republican in the November general election.

McCain’s campaign has not yet responded to questions about the $2,300 contribution.

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