October 11, 2012 at 11:49 am EST | by Chris Johnson
Chaz Bono to co-host fundraiser for GOP stepmother

Transgender advocate Chaz Bono (photo via chazbono.net)

Transgender advocate Chaz Bono is set to co-host a Los Angeles fundraiser on Sunday for his stepmother — a Republican lawmaker from California known for having a strong record on LGBT rights.

A flier advertising the event — obtained earlier this week by the Washington Blade — praises Rep. Mary Bono Mack, as “the only Republican woman representing California in the Nation’s Capitol.”

Bono, who gained notoriety as a transgender advocate after his appearance on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” is listed as a co-host for the event. The only child of Cher and the late Rep. Sonny Bono, Bono is the stepson of Bono Mack.

Also listed as a co-host is gay Republican media commentator Richard Grenell, who briefly served as a foreign policy spokesperson for the Romney campaign before resigning after an outcry from social conservatives and some liberals.

In an email to the Washington Blade, Grenell praised Bono Mack’s record while serving in Congress and said she’s in danger of losing to Democrat Raul Ruiz in the upcoming election.

“My friend Mary Bono Mack has been targeted by the Democrats and she needs our help to return to Congress,” Grenell said. “While Mary represents Palm Springs, she is also a unique voice in Congress for Californians wanting common sense leadership with less control over our lives.”

Grenell said the fundraiser is set to take place at the home of Republican former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan within the city. The minimum requested contribution is $500 per person.

Also listed on the flier as a co-host is Cindy McCain, wife of 2008 Republican presidential nominee and U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is listed as a “special honorary guest.”

Over the course of her career in Congress, Bono Mack has had a pro-LGBT voting record. She voted twice against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006. She voted for hate crimes protection legislation and a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Bono Mack voted against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal when it first came to the House floor in May 2010, but ultimately voted in favor of repeal after the Pentagon report on implementing open service was issued. In the current Congress, she’s voted against amendments on the House floor reaffirming the Defense of Marriage Act.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Something tells me Cher is not pleased.

  • Good for Chaz. it like the inverse of the usual gay 'tolerance" arguement. To tolerate the Republican you actually have to know one in your life or family. I hope the loud haters don't spew venom online as they do.

  • Sorry but I wouldn’t vote for any Republican no matter what their LGBT voting record. If I vote for a democrat they will almost always have a pro-LGBT voting record and it takes the vote away from the GOP in congress. Chaz is a bit confused as always. He needs to remember which side his bread is buttered on.

  • Disappointing! No self-respecting, LGBT person would support the GOP in any way!

    • Really? I do and I am a self respecting Gay man. But then again, I am self sufficient, confident, successful and don’t expect anything I don’t work for. AND I”M A REPUBLICAN!!!!

  • Bono-Mack may have a good LGBT record herself but a vote for any GOP politician is a vote for the party that stands firmly against treating us as equals. Progress will only be made with the strongest Democratic majorities possible. The record is clear: To vote for a Republican, any Republican, is to help empower the forces of anti-LGBT hate.

  • Oh and another thing: Recently Chaz participated in a TransForObama event, yet here he is promoting a Republican for Congress. Just which side is this guy on anyway?

    • You know what’s great about the election process in the USA? Freedom to choose!! When Chaz goes into the voting booth, he can vote for his stepmother AND for Obama, if he so desires. They are not running for the same office. Also, why are you stereotyping all Republicans? There are a great many gay Republicans and an even greater number which are very supportive of the LGBT community. When the Democrats had control of the White House, the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for two full years, where did that get us? How much was our cause advanced? You are satisfied that Obama was “evolving” until just a few months ago, when he realized he needed all the help he can get? You should check his record on gay marriage – it swayed with each election he ever ran in (it went something like for, neutral, neutral, against, evolving, for). I don’t know about you, but I think I deserve better than being pandered to. Neither party truly has our backs, and the Democrats certainly proved that when they had the chance to make a difference and didn’t. Bravo to Chaz for working to change hearts and minds on both sides of the aisle!

  • Oh this is a COMPLETE fabrication. Not only has she voted against marriage equality and non-discrimination issues regarding the LGBT community.. she voted for a measure that would have banned gay parents and individuals from being able to adopt foster children in DC. She has never attended a single Pride Festival, Parade, or queer event in her district whereas her opponent, Dr Raul Ruiz, attended the gay prom thrown by GSAs in the area as well as HRC events, m etc. Aside from being on television, I want to stress that Chaz hasn't actually been much of an advocate. Activism sometimes involves more than just being on TV (for a paycheck).

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