Tag Archives: GOProud

GOProud Ex-Director Axes GOP, Cites Bigotry

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.

The ABCs of the GOP: M is for…


This week’s 2012 Republican National Convention was meant to be a spectacle of all things GOP. It’s the one time of the year when the party’s best and brightest, young and old come together to celebrate what it means to be “Republican”. By all accounts, RNC 2012 was a success as they have now achieved the two most important tasks of a political party… nominate their candidate for President, and define themselves to the American people through the 2012 Republican Party Platform. Undoubtedly, Mitt Romney gave one of the best speeches of his political career, and the party did it’s duty to officially nominate he and Paul as their new leaders. Mission accomplished.

But there was another (if perhaps unwritten and unspoken) task for this year’s Republican Party as well… it’s to form the most important coalition in the history of the GOP. A coalition to marginalize the party’s moderates and Libertarians in favor of the Tea Party and Religious Right.

Last Sunday’s Ron Paul rally was ground zero for Republican marginalization. Drawing record crowds to the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome in Tampa, the Liberty movement’s “counterconvention” was aptly titled We Are The Future. The vast majority of the crowd was of college age and seemingly had enough enthusiasm to get anyone they wanted into the Whitehouse. Speakers sent grossly mixed messages of encouraging support to Republicans while simultaneously scorning the party for their (probably illegal) ouster of Liberty delegates. But amidst all of the excitement, an ugly contradiction was clear… Ron Paul and his supporters lost. Their dream to be the future was yet again a dream deferred. Just like 2008, the Liberty folks will again sit on the margins of the real GOP, and just be exploited for their youth and initiative.

As the GOP charges toward the Religious Right with most social issues, this is quickly isolating party Moderates. Sure, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez gave rousing speeches at the convention. This is not to be overlooked, but having a few representatives to show diversity within the party does not excuse the whole.

Take the Conservative LGBT group GOProud… so far the only LGBT Conservative group to fully endorse the Romney/Ryan ticket. Despite their continued attempts to play by the GOP’s constantly-changing rule book, GOProud was marginalized at this year’s RNC in favor of the Far-Right. Once again, the Republican Party committed to “traditional marriage” 100 percent by adopting it as the party platform. But according to GOProud founding member Christopher Barron, that doesn’t matter…

When asked if he could clarify GOProud’s position on the Republican Party platform, this was his response…

Then I asked if GOProud also supports DOMA like the rest of the GOP…

So apparently there’s a disconnect here. The party platform is supposed to be a statement of what that political party believes. It steers the ship towards legislative priorities of the party, and to select candidates for national, state and local offices. Despite Mr. Barron’s claims that “no one reads it”, the GOP 2012 platform will travel home with every delegate, and be given to every campaign chair across the country. The document certainly is important. After all, if the entirety of GOP did NOT support DOMA it wouldn’t be law today. Democrats are the ones fighting against it, NOT Republicans. GOProud can claim what they want, but their party is actively fighting against them. Just as Republicans are fighting against Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin and any other figure that threatens the delicate alliances holding the “big tent” party together. As more Conservatives and Moderates get left out in the cold, is the GOP really a “big tent” party at all? And how long are these growing Conservative forces willing to play a game at which they always lose? How long can sit on the party’s political outskirts before there’s a real revolt?

As RNC 2012 is now in the history books, Mitt Rommey and Reince Priebus can breathe a sigh of relief. But the tense forces within the GOP haven’t lessened… If anything they may be heightened. It’s going to take every bit of strategic intellect to make it through November 6th. And the margin of error couldn’t possibly be any thinner.

Why Liberals must avoid ‘Savage’ route to equality

Liberal activist Dan Savage is respected for his work as founder of the “It Gets Better” campaign. Make no mistake that this organization has had a huge role in the rapidly changing public opinion of GLBT equality. As a country, we are all better for important projects like this one. But Mr. Savage is also well-known for his “colorful” language from his advice column, and for a long-standing vendetta with GLBT people that are known to be either in the closet, or working against equality.

Just this week the board at GOProud, one of the most prominent GLBT Republican political organizations, officially endorsed Mitt Romney’s candidacy for President. Like many political groups, this was a decision which required a vote. Some members, such as co-founder Chris Barron, admitted to voting against the endorsement, but as a member of the organization he chose to support his party and their candidate.

As a fellow Liberal, I do not agree with GOProud’s endorsement. Mitt Romney has already pledged to toe his party’s far-right line against same-sex marriage and civil unions. He’s even flirted with the possibilities to end or reverse the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. These are terrible setbacks in the fight for equality. Knowing all of this, GOProud’s endorsement was sure to garner attention. Mr. Savage attacked GOProud and has started a bitter war of very foul and disrespectful language. Though I do not support the organizations actions, I also cannot support Mr. Savage and his immature behavior. Ultimately, his actions will do more to harm the fight for equality. He is being used to further existing stereotypes to show how “out of control” the GLBT community is. By attacking organizations like GOProud, Dan Savage fuels the fire that Conservatives can use against the movement.

Before we get caught in a “civil war” within the gay community, it’s important to pause and look at the accomplishments made under the Obama administration. As of this year, we now live in a country where more than 50 million Americans in 8 states recognize same-sex marriage as full and legal. Military soldiers can now serve their country without of dismissal regardless of their sexual orientation. More GLBT couples than ever before are having children and families without fear of scorn from their neighbors. Even in a state like Texas, the city of Houston elected an openly gay mayor, and the GLBT voices in our government continue to grow. And despite what you hear inside the Washington spin zone, support for same-sex marriage is rapidly increasing the country, including within the GOP.

But where we’re also losing ground is in the actions of people like Dan Savage. As a community, we must remember that our fight for GLBT equality is for people of all political stripes, including GOProud. Even if Liberals disagree with them and their decisions, we have to find a way to do so respectfully, and show that what’s most important is that the work for equality moves forward, regardless of which political ideology wins the election. If Mr. Savage took a moment to scroll through his “It Gets Better” site, he’d be reminded that the gay community is the most diverse community on the planet. By design, that diversity also includes politics. For the rest of the Liberals, let’s not forget that there are very real and tangible threats to the struggle for equality, and they lie in the Right-wing fringes. Every minute that the GLBT community spends attacking each other, is a minute more that terrors like Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association and One Million Moms can plot against us.