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GOP rep's campaign takes hit for comments regarding selling homes to gay, transgender people

GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California has lost the support of realtor organizations for his comments that it's OK for a homeowner to refuse to sell to someone based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) has lost some support in a tough re-election campaign after saying he believes it's OK for a homeowner to refuse to sell to someone based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the Orange County Register.

The Orange County Realtors asked Rohrabacher to support a bill that would expand anti-discrimination protections to people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Rohrabacher felt that went too far.

"Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone [if] they don't agree with their lifestyle," Rohrabacher reportedly said at a May 16 meeting with the realtor association.

What's the story?

Rohrabacher's comment has cost him the support of the National Association of Realtors, which previously had recommended that members send campaign contributions to the GOP lawmaker.

The realtor association's code of ethics bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Still, Rohrabacher did not back down from his stance on the matter, saying Thursday that homeowners should be allowed to "choose who they do business with," and that "we've drawn the line on racism, but I don't think we should extend that line."

"A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral," Rohrabacher said.

Rohrabacher, 70, also told the Register that he understood the loss of the NAR's support would hurt him.

"It certainly can't do me any good to have people take me off their endorsement list," Rohrabacher said. "It's sad to see [the association's] priority is standing in solidarity with making sure a stamp of approval is put on somebody's private lifestyle."

Rohrabacher said he wanted to support the rights of "fundamentalist Christians who do not approve of their lifestyle."

Political ammunition

Rohrabacher's likely opponent in this year's November election, Democrat Harley Rouda, jumped on the comments and condemned the Republican.

"What Dana Rohrabacher fails to understand is discrimination is discrimination," Rouda said. "It shows how backward his thinking is."

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