POLITICS
03/21/2014 01:51 pm ET

Gay GOP Candidate Boycotting Party Convention: The Platform Takes Us 'Backward'

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Openly gay GOP congressional candidate Richard Tisei (R-Mass.) is boycotting the state's Republican convention in protest of the party's platform.

Last month, Massachusetts Republicans approved the new plan, which includes a more conservative stance on issues like gay marriage and abortion. Tisei told the Boston Globe this week that he is not going because he doesn't want to "be seen in any way to be endorsing that."

“I don’t really feel comfortable being at a convention where the platform takes the party backward, rather than forward, as far as appealing to a large group of Massachusetts voters," Tisei said.

In an interview with HuffPost Live last month, Tisei admitted that the GOP has gone "astray" in recent years. But he also defended his affiliation with the party, saying that he believes in what it "traditionally stood for."

"Most people recognize that down in Washington, love of party is more important than love of country," Tisei said. "We need leaders in Washington who are willing to put the country first and that's what I want to be able to do."

Tisei is one of three openly gay Republicans making bids for Congress. Joining him are former business school dean Dan Innis in New Hampshire, and former San Diego city council member Carl DeMaio in California.

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