US: Protests disrupt gay Republican’s fundraiser over sexual harassment claims

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A group of protesters attempted to disrupt a fundraiser for gay Republican candidate Carl DeMaio, who is accused of sexually harassing a male staffer.

Mr DeMaio, who is running in California to become the first out Republican congressman next month, has been accused of acting inappropriately towards Todd Bosnich, 28.

Mr Bosnich, who worked for DeMaio’s campaign last year, alleges that the candidate had masturbated in front of him, groped him, and kissed his neck.

The former staffer alleged of one incident when he was called to DeMaio’s office: “I came over to his office, the door was open. And he was masturbating. I saw his hand, his penis in his hand and he had a smile on his face. And as soon as I came over he was looking at me.”

DeMaio has denied all the allegations, but Jess Durfee – a member of the Democratic National Committee – organised a protest outside his fundraiser in San Diego last night.

He told ABC: “Carl DeMaio is not what he says. His behaviours are inappropriate and he should absolutely not be a member of congress.

“There are allegations out there that need to be considered by the voters as they go to the polls on November 4.”

Joanne Climie added: “I think if he would do that with staff, if it’s true, you don’t someone like that in congress.”

Republican speaker John Boehner attended the fundraiser, while a party spokesperson said: “We fully support Carl DeMaio and we don’t make decisions based on unsubstantiated claims.”

DeMaio’s campaign has claimed the entire incident has been “manufactured” by “party political opponents”.