Controversial Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is facing a revolt by conservative members of his Republican Party because his chief of staff is openly lesbian.

The group is threatening to stall Schwarzenegger’s bid for re-election by refusing to endorse him at the party’s convention next month – unless he fires Susan Kennedy, a Democrat and lesbian and gay activist.

It is thought that the governor hired Kennedy last November to appear more moderate, following a number of perceived anti-gay moves by his administration – including refusing to back same-sex marriage in the state.

The Republicans describe Kennedy as “pursuing a partisan Democratic agenda for higher taxes, greater government spending, gay rights, abortion rights … and other anti-Republican policy issues.” They are calling for the party to withdraw its endorsement for Schwarzenegger should he not get rid of her.

In a recent speech, Schwarzenegger described Kennedy as, “…spectacular. She’s much better than I thought, and I’m looking forward to working with her for many more years”.

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