April 9, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Delaware Republicans reportedly seek Fluharty’s dismissal
John Fluharty, Delaware, Republican Party, GOP, gay news, Washington Blade

Delaware Republican Party Executive Director John Fluharty (Photo courtesy of John Fluharty)

A spokesperson for the Sussex County [Del.] Republican Committee on Tuesday denied a report its executive committee approved a non-binding resolution that called for the dismissal of the state GOP’s openly gay executive director over his support of same-sex marriage.

The News-Journal reported committee members approved the resolution against John Fluharty during their monthly meeting in Georgetown on Monday.

Sherwood “Duke” Brooks, spokesperson for the Sussex County Republican Committee, confirmed to the Washington Blade that committeeman Rob Arlett introduced a resolution that states the Delaware Republican Party “stands for traditional family values and all hired representatives of that organization shall publicly reflect that view.”

It does not specifically identify Fluharty.

“That was the extent of the non-binding resolution offered and voted upon in the affirmative,” he said. “To me this resolution seems analogous to the idea that if you are an executive with General Motors you don’t drive around in a Mustang or a BMW. That was the extent of it.”

The committee approved the resolution less than a month after Fluharty highlighted his personal support of nuptials for gays and lesbians during an exclusive interview with the Blade at an Equality Delaware fundraiser in Wilmington.

Fluharty declined to comment, but Brooks said the resolution has nothing to do with his sexual orientation.

“No one and I mean no one in our committee has any problem or any issue with the fact that John is gay,” he said. “He is not only a great guy, but I also believe he is absolutely a good Republican. His GOP bonafides are beyond question at this point.”

Brooks maintained the Delaware Republican Party “is not in favor of changing the definition of marriage.” He described the resolution the committee members approved is “a completely reasonable outlook for a political party.”

“Nobody wants to fire John,” Brooks said. “He’s a good guy.”

Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, cited unsuccessful efforts to oust Illinois Republican Party Chair Pat Brady over his support of same-sex marriage in his response to the Sussex County Republican Committee’s resolution.

“Mr. Fluharty was exercising his right to freedom of speech as a private citizen,” Angelo told the Blade. “Blustering non-binding resolutions only serve to give liberals fodder and plays to people’s worst stereotypes about the GOP.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

3 Comments
  • Gay Republicans have to drive what? I don’t get it. It’s CRAZED!

    Why doesn’t Fluharty just become a Democrat? Then he can see the USA in whatever brand he pleases.

  • peter rosenstein

    I applaud John Fluharty for his courage in speaking out for his convictions.

    What I would question him about is how he can work for and be a spokesperson for a group who doesn’t think he should have equal rights? Clearly that is a personal decision he needs to be happy with when he looks at himself in the mirror at night and no one should actually fire him for his opinions as long as he continues to make it clear that these are personal opinions.

    Must be tough to be a Republican in a group like the Delaware Repbulicans who if I remember correctly selected Christine O’Connell as their Senate candidate.

  • There is a large faction of the Sussex GOP that is very anti gay, and they can try to put lipstick on the pig, but it’s STILL a pig. These are the same people who spread the rumor about Congressman Mike Castle “cheating on his wife with a man” and who passed out hate filled flyers at the polls in 2008 against a gay Republican candidate for Insurance Commissioner.

    Am I supposed to be impressed with the fact that they are publicly saying they don’t want to fire John for being gay, they just want to fire him for supporting gay marriage?

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