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04/19/2007


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...

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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".


ACLU Starts $10 Million Campaign To Convince Republicans To Repeal Statewide Marriage Bans

Shortly after the Supreme Court released its rulings on same-sex marriage, the American Civil Liberties Union announced the start of a $10 million dollar nationwide campaign to bring marriage equality to more non-marriage states with the help of Republican leaders:

Schmidt_lasalviaWith the goal of working both with and within the Republican Party, the ACLU has hired Steve Schmidt (pictured left)...

Previously, he has worked on Capitol Hill as the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, served as one of the top strategists during President Bush's 2004 re-election and as a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush. Schmidt also directed strategic communications for the nomination of Chief Justice Roberts and led the nomination of Justice Alito...

Schmidt's role will be to help spearhead the campaign to strike down state-based laws prohibiting same-sex marriage. The campaign will, over the next four years, challenge legislative and constitutional provisions in states such as Illinois, Oregon, Hawaii, New Mexico, and others. The ACLU aims to spend roughly $10 million through 2016 and will officially announce the initiative with an ad in tomorrow's edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Most recently Schmidt told political satirist Bill Maher that the Republican party's anti-gay positions repel tech-savvy developers from working with the GOP. 

The ACLU will also hire Jimmy LaSalvia (pictured right) the former executive director of the gay Republican group GOProud to help with outreach efforts to gay conservatives and Tea Party members.


CPAC Still Won't Let GOProud Play With The Right Wing Big Boys

Lasalviatweet

Should the gay conservative group GOProud stop trying to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, or does their continued rejection from the annual right wing event, and executive director Jimmy LaSalvia's promotion of this rejection, help their cause?

Or do these dust-ups end up hurting their cause, serving as yet another reminder to voters that the Republican base still rejects LGBT people as a whole, even their fellow conservatives?

(Via Joe.My.God.)


Gay Conservative Group GOProud Comes Out for Marriage Equality

Gay conservative group GOProud has never officially backed marriage equality, until today.

LasalviaChris Geidner reports:

"We support same-sex marriage, civil marriage," GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia said.

The move follows a decision by the GOProud board earlier this month to expand the group's mission to include state-level work. It also comes after, LaSalvia noted, the re-election of a president who supports same-sex couples' marriage rights, while some in the Republican Party are urging their party to reassess their position on the issue.

Since its founding in 2009, GOProud has always opposed the federal Defense of Marriage Act, calling the law a "federal power grab," but it avoided the underlying issue of marriage rights. In the course of a 285-word statement provided to BuzzFeed on "marriage and relationship recognition" being released publicly Friday, though, the group declares, "Where civil marriage is possible, we support civil marriage."

GOProud's Jimmy LaSalvia told Geidner that the group will be forming individual efforts in the states, and that is why they've decided to weigh in on the issue:

The group, which he said had nearly a $350,000 budget in 2012 that came from about 500 donors, is starting off by supporting the marriage equality bills in Illinois, Minnesota and Rhode Island. Asked about the bills, LaSalvia said the group support them, noting, "Where it is being considered and where it is possible, we support it and we're going to be there."

Here's the group's statement:

Since our founding, GOProud has worked exclusively on federal issues. Because marriage has been a state issue since the founding of our country, we have had no official position on marriage or relationship recognition. We have supported, and continue to support, the repeal of DOMA, and we oppose any effort to federalize marriage though a constitutional amendment. Now that GOProud's Board of Directors has voted to begin work on the state and local level, we believe it is important to lay out our principles when it comes to marriage and relationship recognition.

GOProud believes that stable, loving, committed relationships are the cornerstone of our society and should be protected and encouraged for all couples - including gay and lesbian couples. We believe that the decision about how to best do this is one that should be made at the state level and that these decisions are best made by the people directly or through their elected representatives - not by unelected judges.

Where civil marriage is possible, we support civil marriage. Where civil unions are possible, we support civil unions. Where domestic partner benefits are possible, we support domestic partner benefits. As federalists, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach on almost any issue and that includes relationship recognition for gay couples.

We are firmly committed to winning hearts and minds, which is why we understand that not everyone who doesn't support marriage for gay couples is automatically a bigot or homophobe. We understand that there are people of deep faith who may have religious objections to marriage. We respect those differences and believe that no church or religious institution should ever be force to solemnize a marriage that is against its teachings.

As you may recall, during the last election cycle LaSalvia called gay marriage a "distraction" issue as he made the media rounds pumping the group's support for Mitt Romney.


GOProud Co-Founder Jimmy LaSalvia Suddenly Thinks Gay Marriage is an Important Republican Issue: VIDEO

Lasalvia

GOProud co-founder Jimmy LaSalvia, who has called same-sex marriage a "distraction" issue while trumpeting his group's allegiance to Mitt Romney, suddenly thinks it's a Republican issue.

Said LaSalvia to the WSJ in a post-election interview about marriage:

“Singer Kelly Clarkson, a single woman who was asked while she was on her tour who she was voting for. She said well I'm a Republican at heart but I'll probably vote for Obama because I have a lot of gay friends. And so I think that [marriage equality] is an issue that everyone is considering. And especially because everyone has gay friends and family."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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