Gay sheriff quits Romney campaign
Los Angeles - An Arizona sheriff resigned from a volunteer position with Mitt Romney's Arizona campaign on Saturday in the face of charges that he tried to coerce his homosexual partner into silence.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told reporters the allegations against him were "absolutely, completely false, except for the issues that refer to me as being gay."
"Because that's the truth. I am gay," Babeu said.
The denial and resignation came after the Phoenix New Times reported that Babeu had threatened to deport his alleged lover, a Mexican national identified only as Jose, after he had refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement covering their relationship.
Babeu, who is running for Congress as a Republican, said he did not break any laws, arguing the allegations against him were merely attempts to derail his congressional campaign.
He said he had called the Romney campaign to resign from his position as co-chair of the Arizona "Romney for President" organisation.
"We support his decision," Romney spokesperson Ryan Williams said in a statement.