Tim Gill Appoints Republican Kirk Fordham to Lead Action Fund

Tim Gill has named a gay Republican the new head of his Action Fund, the Denver Post reports:

FordhamKirk Fordham, who starts work for Gill in April, is a registered Republican whose first political job was working for then-U.S. Rep. Jim Imhofe, a conservative Oklahoman.

Fordham spent most of his political career on Capitol Hill, where he said he was part of a "gay Republican SWAT team" that worked with moderate Republicans to push back on anti-gay legislative efforts. When former U.S. Rep. Joel Hefley of Colorado Springs sought to overturn a Clinton administration directive to protect federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, the team helped defeat the bid.

The Victory Fund adds:

Fordham’s appointment was met with praise from national political leaders who have worked with him, including Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who chairs the Democratic National Committee.  ”Kirk practices a bi-partisan approach to problem-solving that has earned him the respect of many friends on both sides of the aisle.  As we continue our march forward to protect the right of every LGBT person to enjoy every opportunity this nation has to offer, I look forward to working with Kirk to build on the progress that has been made by groups like Gill Action,” said Wasserman Schultz.


  1. Peter says

    Poor, self-loathing gay Republicans. I guess he did not have much luck at their efforts to push back anti-gay attacks either.


    This tool, Kirk Fordham, chose to work for James Inhofe, a monster only Jesse Helms and Andrew Breitbart could love. Fortunately, they’re both dead.

    “Inhofe has generally been seen as overtly hostile by LGBT advocacy groups, earning a 0% in every one of his terms on Human Rights Campaign’s position scorecard. Inhofe is in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes, and voted against prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Inhofe’s office has said he “does not hire openly gay staffers due to the possibility of a conflict of agenda.”

    Inhofe campaigned for his Senate seat in 1994 using the phrase “God, guns, and gays,” reflecting his ability to master political support in opposition to gay rights in general (and gays in the military in particular). This phrase came to be a popular term for GOP campaign strategy, with Howard Dean and other politicians using it in the 2004 election cycle. In 2008, his campaign was noted by the Associated Press for running an ad with “anti-gay overtones” featuring a wedding cake with two male figures on top, fading into his opponent’s face.

    On June 6, 2006, in a speech on the Senate floor about the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, Inhofe said, pointing at a large photograph of his family:

    “ …As you see here, and I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during the entire debate, my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.”

  3. ehllo says

    we need someone who can work both sides of aisle, because as much as we hate to admit it, republicans are not going away.

    best of luck to mr. fordham.

  4. KP says

    Good for him if he can truely change the minds of his fellow Repulicans but don’t color me optimistic. Its great he has the support of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Tim Gill, and Rick Palacio but his previous work with Jim Imhofe and Mark Foley are not exactly bragging points IMHO.

    The article mentions a “gay Republican SWAT team” working within Capitol Hill. They have done a really bang-up job, what with the defeat of ENDA, the bitter fight over DADT, and the continued defense of DOMA by the GOP. Really effective…eye roll

  5. Bob R says

    I guess there was no better qualified gay Democrat or even a straight but not narrow Democrat available for the position. Well, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what happens and how effective he is. I can’t say I don’t have my doubts.

  6. Matthew says

    Tim Gill is certainly one of the smartest activists and donors in the LGBT community and surrounds himself with the most capable talent available. He did run a billion dollar company (Quark), that the narrow-minded detractors in our community often forget.

    Mr. Gill looks for leaders who are able to operate in all environments. As he learned in New York, after 5 years of investmenting in political work – you have to be able to speak republican to get bi-partisan support. His relationship with Paul Singer is what got marriage across the finish line.

    While Kirk Fordham has worked for some less than ideal people. Who hasn’t? Does working for a terrible boss make you any less qualified or talented?

    Our own personal journeys are unique. Kirk’s apparently caught the eye of our movement’s most strategic leader/philanthropist. Have faith everyone. From what can be read on Mr. Gill – he isn’t one to make bad decisions.

  7. Jay says

    What a jerk. He flacks for a closet case bigot and a anti-gay Senator, who voted against DADT repeal, and yet we’re supposed to think he is going to work for gay equality. It looks like he’ll just do anything for a paycheck.

  8. wilburinla says

    It doesn’t matter that he is a Republican; it matters if he can get the job done effectively. And remember, Ted Olson, is an arch-conservative Republican who is leading the fight to overturn Prop. 8. Go hate on him!