House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, on Friday attended a fundraiser in Boston to benefit Richard Tisei's bid to represent the people of Massachusetts' Sixth District.

The 49-year-old Tisei announced in a 2009 Boston Globe interview before he was named Charlie Baker's gubernatorial running mate that he is gay. Baker was defeated by Democrat Deval Patrick.

Two years later, Tisei is running for Congress and he has the backing of House Republican leaders.

Boehner's fundraiser took place at the Taj Boston hotel and drew about 75 people, The Boston Globe reported. Three candidates will benefit from Boehner's appearance: Tisei, and Representatives Charles Bass and Frank Guinta of New Hampshire.

Tisei is vying to unseat incumbent Democrat John Tierney.

“I'm honored that the speaker would come in and think highly enough of my race that he's willing to come to Boston and participate in a joint fundraiser,” Tisei told the paper. “Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and the Democratic leadership are pulling out all the stops for John Tierney right now, so I appreciate that help.”

House Republicans continue to pursue anti-gay legislation and, at the direction of Boehner, House lawyers are defending in at least 12 cases the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 federal law which defines marriage as a heterosexual union.

If elected, Tisei, a former Massachusetts state senator, would become the nation's first openly gay Republican Congressman.