The mayor of Redondo Beach, California is planning to run for a seat in US Congress, which would make him the first openly gay Republican voted into the House.
Mike Gin, 48, has been a councilman in Redondo Beach for eight years and is in his second term as mayor.
There are no openly gay Republicans currently serving on Capitol Hill, but he would be the fifth openly gay member of the House. According to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Gin would be the first out gay Asian American to run for Congress.
“Certainly, being a gay man has always been who I’ve been, and for me, it never really has been a factor or reason for doing things,” Mr Gin told the Bay Area Reporter. “It is a part of me just as much as being a Chinese American.”
Mr Gin and his husband, Christopher Kreidel, were part of the 18,000 gay people married after the California Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that same-sex marriages were legal, but before the Proposition 8 vote overturned the decision.
“Christopher is the first person I asked before I ever started exploring this race. He has been with me since 1995 when I first got elected to the city council,” said Gin. “He is very supportive of me in everything that I do.”
Mr Gin is a member of Log Cabin Republicans, an organisation that advocates for gay and lesbian equality in the Republican Party.
The openly gay minister of state for police in the UK, Nick Herbert, gave a speech at a Log Cabin Republican annual dinner in Washington in September last year.
He said: “I should say, especially here, to a conservative audience who like me may share some hesitation about the value of laws, who may worry about the infringement of freedom and the trespass on the exercise of individual conscience that social legislation of this kind can represent.
“I worry about these things. But I have come to the view that these laws have been incredibly important in our country, in order that people can be equal and in order to prevent discrimination against people.”
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