An openly gay Republican has become the first of his party to feature his same-sex partner in a political ad.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the ad showed Carl DeMaio, who is running for congress in California, hoisting a rainbow flag at a pride parade, and holding hands with his partner Johnathan Hale at a rally.

Over the clip, the narrator says: “He believes in equality and diversity, and is a defender of our personal freedoms”, and that “he isn’t afraid to be different”.

Political commentator Stuart Rothenberg told CNN: “Other openly gay candidates in the past didn’t want to draw that much attention to it.

“They may have acknowledged it publicly – they weren’t trying to hide it, but putting it in an ad is another step.”

“Maybe he’s going out of his way to offer some ammunition that rebuts a Democratic caricature of him.”

The candidate’s ad has so far only aired online, but a campaign spokesperson confirmed they plan to air it as a TV advert.

He is challenging incumbent Democrat Scott Peters for a seat in the House of Representatives. The election is set for November this year.

Last month, an anti-gay Republican in Hawaii blamed his attorney after a court bid to end same-sex marriages in the state failed.

Watch the ad below: