The co-founder of GOProud, a political action group that gives voice to gay conservatives, is leaving the Republican party to become an unaffiliated voter — and he doesn’t pull any punches in his condemnation of the party he used to support.
In a post on his blog Monday, Jimmy LaSalvia writes that he now feels a “huge sense of freedom.”:
“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.”
In an interview with Time, LaSalvia didn’t believe the party could salvage its anti-gay image: “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to pull the plug on the patient,” he told Elizabeth Dias. “It’s been brain-dead for a long, long time.”
LaSalvia and other members of GOProud have fought against other conservatives in the past — most notably at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) run by the American Conservative Union, which banned the group from co-sponsorship in 2012. While the group was welcome at the conference in 2010 and 2011, more than a dozen other conservative organisations boycotted the conference during those years.
“Our opponents on the board of ACU and in outside organisations made no secret for two and a half years about why they wanted us out of CPAC, and it’s because we’re gay,” LaSalvia told The Daily Caller of the ban last year.
Like many other conservative organisations, GOProud supports small government policies, tax reform, and reduction in the national debt. The group’s position on marriage, however, diverges from others with its support for “marriage rights to include gay and lesbian couples.”
In a follow-up blog post Tuesday, LaSalvia posted this video that he said best summed up his thoughts.
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