If anyone needed further proof that the most current iteration of the GOP is in utter crisis, it’s definitely arrived today. Jimmy LaSalvia, former Director of GOProud– one of the most prominent organizations in the country for openly LGBT Republicans– has now parted ways with the national party. Directly from his blog…
Today, I joined the ranks of unaffiliated voters. I am every bit as conservative as I’ve always been, but I just can’t bring myself to carry the Republican label any longer. You see, I just don’t agree with the big-government ‘conservatives’ who run the party now.
The other reason I am leaving is the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP. The current leadership lacks the courage to stand up to it – I’m not sure they ever will.
I have worked hard to help to create an atmosphere on the right where conservatives can openly support gay Americans and even support same-sex marriage. In that effort, we have won, but there is more work to do to root out the anti-gay and other forms of bigotry in the party.
So I changed my voter registration today – “No Party.”
LaSalvia’s comments today can hardly be seen as a surprise, given the recent backlash against he and former GOProud founding member Christopher Barron’s decision not to support Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia Gubernatorial election. Several writers on the
Even if expected, this is still a significant blow to the GOP… one that the party itself may not even comprehend yet. After all, there are FAR more LGBT members of the Republican Party than any of its leadership probably realize. They are dedicated, motivated volunteers, staff members for political campaigns, right-hand men and women of aspiring politicians, and serving the party infrastructure at critical points all the way from your hometown school board up through the Speaker of the House. People like Ken Mehlman were even considered to be “king-makers of the party.
But unlike their Democratic counterparts, these bright and talented individuals in the GOP are facing a glass ceiling. They continue to be passed over for party members that will appeal to the rapidly-dwindling Religious Fringe. The talent pools that developed leaders like Tammy Baldwin, Ed Murray and Annise Parker are not available to them. As a result, the party continues to throw some of its best potential out of the window.
I for one dream of the day when sexual orientation or gender identity will no longer be fodder for politics. But until that day comes, I wonder if GOProud can ever be truly proud of the organization it represents? Taking cues from people like LaSalvia, I guess not.