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Google Holds Fundraiser for Anti-Gay Okla. GOP Senator

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Jul 11, 2013

Though Google Inc. has been a proponent for LGBT rights, backing same-sex marriage in Washington state and creating a worldwide gay rights campaign that supports workers in countries that criminalize homosexuality, the Internet search engine giant will hold a fundraiser for an Oklahoma Republican senator who has made anti-gay comments.

As America Blog reports, Google officials are hosting a lunchtime fundraiser for Senator Jim Inhofe.

"Inhofe's record in Congress is pure evil. The man is the Jesse Helms of the Midwest," the website writes.

A few years ago, Inhofe said he had been married to his wife for 47 years and "I'm really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we've never had a divorce or any kind of a homosexual relationship."

More recently, Inhofe apparently had a problem in that the Defense Department allowed active-duty troops to wear their uniforms while marching in San Diego's Gay Pride Parade in 2012. The senator argued that department rules prohibit service members from participating in political activities while in uniform. He asked the then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta why they were able to march in the parade while in uniform, who requested it and why it was considered over other requests, the Associated Press reported.

"If the Navy can punish a chaplain for participating in a pro-life event or a Marine participating in a political rally, it stands to reason that the Defense Department should maintain the same standard and preclude service members in uniform from marching in a gay pride parade," Inhofe wrote.

In a statement accompanying the letter, Inhofe said he was worried that the Obama administration "continues to force its liberal social agenda on the military by promoting the homosexual agenda, mandating the use of high-cost green energy initiatives, pursuing abortion rights and suppressing the free exercise of religious liberties."

America Blog reports that Inhofe is connected to the "creepy Republican fundamentalist group" called The Family, which has been linked to promoting extreme anti-gay hate in Uganda. The lawmaker also does not believe in climate change or global warming and compared Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" to Hitler's "Mein Kampf."

It may seem strange to some that Google, which invests in carbon-free energy sources, can support Inhofe, the Daily Beast reports.

"According to Google, the company has invested over $1 billion in renewable-energy projects, which has earned the company a Green Power Leadership Award in 2011 from the Environmental Protection Agency (an organization Inhofe vehemently opposes at every turn)," the website writes.

The Washington Post reports that environmentalists are upset over the fundraiser and plan to protest the event outside of Google's Washington headquarters, broadcasting it live online. The newspaper also reports that the lunch will raise contributions of $250 to $2,500 for the politician.

"It's embarrassing that a company that prides itself on innovation and technology is associating itself with the extreme views of Senator Inhofe, who is unabashedly dismissive of climate science," Jeff Gohringer of the League of Conservation Voters, told the Post.

When asked why Google was supporting someone like Inhofe, a Google spokesperson told the Post, "We regularly host fundraisers for candidates, on both sides of the aisle, but that doesn't mean we endorse all of their positions. And while we disagree on climate-change policy, we share an interest with Senator Inhofe in the employees and data center we have in Oklahoma."


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