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Profiling The Many Failures Of GOProud

GOProud Jimmy LaSalvia Chris Barron

GOProud, the Tea Party-esque vanity project of founders Christopher Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia for self-destructive homos, fell apart this year after it was unable to compensate for the loss of its largest donor Paul Singer and both of its founders left the organization.

According to a piece at The Daily Beast, it seems that the problems actually begain much earlier and that GOProud was effectively done and over with a year ago. According to now-owner Matt Bechstein,

There was donor discontent, the organization was broke, they were having difficulty raising money, and they ruined just about every relationship possible.

Sounds about right for an organization that found a "strong ally" in Ann Coulter.


Tuesday Speed Read: Mississippi, Idaho, GOProud, Bayer, Mary Bonauto, Carl DeMaio

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

McdanielHOW LOW CAN THEY GO? 

Incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign for his record on LGBT related issues. But in today’s primary, the Family Research Council announced its endorsement over the weekend for Cochran’s challenger, Mississippi State Tea Party Senator Chris McDaniel, citing McDaniel’s strong stance against same-sex couples marrying. Seems zero wasn’t good enough.

ANOTHER REQUEST TO LEAP FROG:

NinthcircuitIdaho filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit May 30, asking to skip over the three-judge panel phase of appeal in defense of its state ban on same-sex couples marrying. Less than two months ago, the Sixth Circuit refused Michigan’s request to do the same. But Idaho says the intra-circuit conflict over the proper level of judicial scrutiny to apply when evaluating laws that affect LGBT people adversely is a question of “exceptional importance.” Even more important, it argues, is the conflict over laws banning same-sex couples from marrying. Americans “understandably want the Marriage Issue resolved now,” states the brief. The Ninth Circuit is one of five circuits with active cases before them concerning statewide bans; only two –the Fourth and Tenth— have heard arguments before a three-judge panel.

GoproudGOPROUD CONSIDERS REORGANIZATION:

The gay conservative group GOProud reacted to rumors Monday that it was “shutting down.” Not so, said Matthew Bechstein, the group’s new executive director, in a press release. Bechstein said the group, which recently saw its founding members abandon ship, is considering reorganization to a “different legal type of organization.” “But if it were to actually happen,” said Bechstein, “it would only be momentary and certainly not the end of our organization.”

BayerGLAD SUES BAYER:

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders announced Monday that it filed suit in federal court last month in Connecticut against the company that produces Bayer aspirin. The lawsuit, Passaro v. Bayer, was brought on behalf of Gerald Passaro, whose husband was a chemist at Bayer until his death in 2009. Bayer initially refused to pay Passaro the survivor benefit, saying that, under the Defense of Marriage Act, it had no obligation to. But after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA last June, the company continued to refuse to pay the benefit, governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

BonautoNOTABLE QUOTE:

GLAD civil rights director Mary Bonauto in USA Today article about the string of federal court victories striking down bans on same-sex couples marrying: “We're at a point where it would be shocking if the Supreme Court said it was permissible to deny marriage licenses to gay couples."

GILL FUNDING PARK SERVICE STUDY:

The Gill Foundation is providing $250,000 to fund the LGBT historic places study announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell last Friday. The National Park Service will host a meeting in Washington, D.C., June 10 “to develop a framework and focus for the LGBT theme study with a group of more than a dozen of the nation’s most respected researchers and preservationists who have expertise on LGBT history and culture.”

DemaioDEMAIO’S OFFICE VANDALIZED:

Campaign staff for gay Republican Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio found their San Diego office vandalized last week. A campaign spokesperson told Associated Press that staff believe it is related to DeMaio’s efforts to curb pension costs.

AIDS LISTENING:

The White House Office of National AIDS Policy last Thursday hosted the first of three public “listening sessions” in southern states. The Office’s new director, Douglas Brooks, is leading the sessions, which started in Jackson, Mississippi. The next sessions are slated for Columbia, S.C., today and Atlanta, June 5. RSVP.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Chris Barron Resigns from GOProud Over CPAC Invitation

BarronGOProud co-founder and former chair Chris Barron has resigned from the organization following news that it had been invited back and accepted an invitation to CPAC after years of exclusion.

Said Barron to Buzzfeed:

“Last night I resigned from the Board of GOProud, the organization that I co-founded back in April of 2009. I cannot in good conscience sit by and watch as the current leadership of the organization disingenuously pawns off an unconditional surrender to the forces of bigotry as some sort of ‘compromise,’” Barron told BuzzFeed. “Nothing has changed in regards to GOProud and CPAC, GOProud does not have a booth, they are not a sponsor, they are not participating in any formal sense – individual members can attend and that’s exactly the terms ACU dictated the previous few years.”


GOProud Snaps Up Invitation to Return to CPAC

Conservative gay group GOProud is suddenly being welcomed back to CPAC after years of exclusion, the National Review reports:

GoproudTwo former GOProud summer interns, Ross Hemminger and Matt Bechstein, took over last summer and sought to repair the bitterly frayed relationship. Under a compromise reached last week, they will attend the March 6-8 gathering as guests, without sponsorship or a booth. GOProud sees the lower-profile role as an important first step.

"We really just want to be part of the conservative movement," said Hemminger, a veteran of the losing Senate campaigns by Scott Brown and Gabriel Gomez in Massachusetts. "We want to establish a fruitful and respectful relationship."

Dan Schneider, executive director of the ACU, praised the GOProud directors for their "new vision" of promoting conservative principles from gun rights to opposition to abortion.

"We welcome GOProud's attendance at this year's CPAC conference," Schneider said in an e-mail. "I believe their presence could help establish a productive relationship in the future."

LasalviaFormer GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia, who left the Republican Party this year, doubts this represents the kind of changes they're trumpeting:

"There has been no change in the ACU's policy since 2011," LaSalvia said in an e-mail. "There likely won't be real change at the ACU until their old, out-of-touch leadership retires."

Former GOProud Chair Chris Barron still has a bad taste in his mouth as well:

"If I was still running GOProud," he told me, "I wouldn't accept a three-fifths invitation to CPAC."

Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union which runs CPAC, told the group in 2011 that they were welcome to come so long as they drop all support for gay rights measures.

This year, Cardenas says:

"CPAC is about finding conservative solutions to every challenge in America and not just saying 'no.; We're determined to win the majority of American support."


GOProud Founder Jimmy LaSalvia On Signorile's Show: The GOP Has No Backbone — AUDIO

Jimmy LaSalvia

Now that he's abandoned the Republican party, GOProud founder Jimmy LaSalvia is airing all of his grievances with the party that banned his group from CPAC in an interview with Michelangelo Signorile. He doesn't say anything that people on the left haven't been saying for YEARS - the GOP has been hijacked by a loud, powerful minority; they're unwilling to lose a small number of fringe voters to gain "multitudes"; the party has no backbone - but it's cathartic to hear someone who was once one of the party's major cheerleaders finally get a clue. 

LaSalvia actually had some rather scathing remarks about the GOP, such as comparing them to drug addicts who know they have a problem but can't kick it, or saying that they have a cultural disease that can't be fixed. He even recalled a rather telling moment during a conversation with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus when Priebus said, in regards to whatever they were talking about, "I can't do that, I'll get a call from Tony Perkins."

You can listen to LaSalvia lambaste his former party AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GOProud Founder Jimmy LaSalvia On Signorile's Show: The GOP Has No Backbone — AUDIO" »


GOProud Co-Founder Jimmy LaSalvia Leaves the Republican Party

Jimmy LaSalvia, founder of the conservative gay group GOProud, has left the Republican Party, he writes on his blog:

LasalviaToday, 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 now calls himself an "independent conservative".


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