GOProud's Founders Write Obit for Pro-Gay Republican Group

Monday, 09 Jun 2014 06:38 PM

By Joe Schaeffer

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The two founders of GOProud, an advocacy group created to "provide a strong voice for gay conservatives and their conservative allies" within the Republican Party, have declared victory even while acknowledging that the organization has officially disbanded.

Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron delivered a political obituary for the group in an article posted at Breitbart on Sunday, noting that "[last] week the news broke that the new leadership is closing GOProud."

When gay blog site The Bilerico Project reported last week that the tax-exempt 527 organization was being dissolved, its current leaders quickly posted denials on Facebook, writing, "Nothing could be further from the truth" and, "GOProud is not closing. It is growing," Bilerico reports.

One day later,"the group confirmed it plans to kill the GOProud brand and will attempt to reorganize as a grassroots online organization with a new name," Bilerico reports.

Despite the shutdown, LaSalvia and Barron took a victory lap in their Breitbart column.

"We had this crazy idea that maybe there was room for one gay group that would talk about the issues that really impact gay Americans — jobs, the economy, taxes, retirement security, and healthcare — and do so from a strongly conservative place," the two wrote.

"We set out to challenge conventional wisdom and show the world that all gays aren't left-wing liberals and all conservatives aren't anti-gay homophobes. We also set out to do it our way."

They cited Breitbart.com's founder, the late Andrew Breitbart, as a role model, saying he "inspired people like us to forget all of the old rules in politics — speak your mind, fight like hell and don't waste one second worrying about what other people think about you."

"That is exactly what we did and it is exactly why we were so successful."

Asserting that the group faced opposition from the right and the left, the two listed among GOProud's achievements hosting a "hip" and "fun" party at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

"Our 2012 'Homocon' event was at the GOP Convention in Tampa. Did we host a traditional convention reception with wine and cheese and white tablecloths? No. In true GOProud style, we rented out the largest gay nightclub in town and our 900+ guests danced the night away as male and female go-go dancers fired off confetti cannons! We showed the country that conservatives are hip and fun!"

LaSalvia and Barron labeled the several-years-running controversy that GOProud generated over its participation at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference  as the "most famous of our successes."

"Over the 3 1/2 years that issue raged, we made many, many friends in the conservative movement, Andrew being one of them. Those relationships, from across the movement, confirmed for us that the work we did made [a] very important contribution toward building a stronger, modern conservative movement that is culturally diverse and connected."

LaSalvia quit the Republican Party in January, declaring that it remains bigoted against gays and "isn't worth saving."

"The bottom line is the Republican Party has lost its way and I've determined that it's so far gone that it isn't worth saving. We can't save it. Let's pull the plug on the patient. It's brain-dead," LaSalvia said in an appearance on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.


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