If Reince Priebus wonders aloud why Republicans aren't seen as the party of liberty and freedom, look no further than GOProud's demise.
GOProud, the gay conservative organization that once boasted Andrew Breitbart on its advisory board, is folding its tent. Continued resistance from other conservative groups, and group founder Jimmy LaSalvia’svery public split with the GOP in January, proved too difficult for the organization to overcome.
On Sunday, GOProud Executive Director Matthew Bechstein admitted that the group’s brand is broken, and future efforts to achieve gay acceptance within the conservative project will require a new organizational identity.
LaSalvia and Chris Barron seemed to have momentum when they split from the Log Cabin Republicans, which they saw as too liberal, and formed GOProud in 2009. Endorsements from conservative stars like Brietbart and Anne Coulter lent the group some measure of legitimacy, boosting the group’s access and fundraising. In 2011, Breitbart even threw them a “Big Gay CPAC party.”
But Breitbart resigned from the GOProud advisory later that year when LaSalvia outed a gay staffer of Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose campaign had issued a homophobic TV ad. Responding to boycotts by ‘family values’ conservative groups, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference ended GOProud’s participation in the conference a few months later. GOProud has been in decline ever since.
There's just no room in the Republican party or conservative movement for out-gay people, it seems. Our Tea Party Taliban can't tolerate anything other than gun toting straight folks, after all.