December 15th, 2011
GOProud is a rightwing political organization masquerading as a gay group. Yes, there are gay members – at least three – but their goals, intentions, and actions reveal them to be interested in gay issues only in the context of how they can be spun for partisan advantage.
Indeed, the irony of their existence can be seen in their self description: “GOProud represents gay conservatives and their allies.” Implicit in that definition is the understanding that by “conservatives”, GOProud means social conservatives generally and advocates of anti-gay policies specifically. While they claim to be “committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy” their alliances and admiration are restricted to those who oppose individual liberty and they have disdain for any whose beliefs in limited government cause them to see DOMA as a violation of freedom that strikes at the core of the US Constitution and who is dedicated to seeing it stricken down.
GOProud is an organization that sees itself primarily in terms of what it is not. And number one to its member is their identity as NOT being part of what they call “the Gay Left”, a moniker they apply to anyone regardless of their place on the political spectrum who believes that gay people are equal and that such a notion is worth fighting for. To GOProud, I am the Gay Left, the writers at the Independent Gay Forum are the Gay Left, all Europeans regardless of ideology (or sexuality) are the Gay Left, and if you read Box Turtle Bulletin, you too are the Gay Left. In fact, it would seem that the only gay people who are not the Gay Left would be the handful (I count three) of gay people involved with the loud but irrelevant group itself.
GOProud is also NOT the Log Cabin Republicans. In fact, GOProud is so much NOT Log Cabin that they split from Log Cabin over that organization’s priorities. You see, Log Cabin didn’t see much value to, say, lobbying Congress in favor of second amendment rights, though most members do hold those rights as valuable. Rather, they put their emphasis in explaining, clarifying, lobbying and seeking to influence those who they agree with on gun rights on issues about which they are better acquainted, i.e. gay rights.
So these fellows left to start GOProud, organization that is comprised mostly of gay men but which doesn’t want to talk about gay issues but instead wants to lobby on other issues like gun rights but doesn’t want to join a gun rights group choosing instead to be a gay group but not gay first but Republican first but not like that other gay group with is really pro-gay but instead we are the ones who don’t want to get along Democrats at all ever and if they support something we promise to criticize it and be really good and never ever criticize a conservative Republican no matter what he says or does and we promise to call any pro-gay Republicans “squishy” or RINO or anything else you want so please please love us please.
In case you haven’t caught on, I don’t have much respect for the group. As of today I have even less.
GOProud has imploded. It had to happen eventually. When an organization is created solely so it’s members can behave like 13 year old boys, it’s inevitable that they will. And this week leaders Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron proved that true.
Rick Perry killed any vestige of hope of being President by running an amazingly homophobic ad. But the most interesting part of that story was about how Perry’s advisors were not of one mind on the ad. Specifically, Anthony Fabrizio went public with his opposition – something I can’t recall from an active part of a candidate’s team. GOProud’s response was to out Fabrizio. Now a part of me would like to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe DiSalvia and Barron were not trying to punish Fabrizio for rocking the boat. Maybe.
In response to a virulently homophobic ad by presidential candidate Rick Perry, Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron outed Perry campaign consultant Anthony Fabrizio as being gay, saying it was “the height of hypocrisy for Tony Fabrizio to have been a part of that.” Follow up by the Washington Post found that Fabrizio was not “a part of that” and that the ad was created over his objections. To which LaSalvia and Barron responded that “he should have quit”.
In consequence, conservative prankster Andrew Brietbart quit as an advisor to GOProud. He, like myself, opposes outing (though I suspect for different reasons). And then the Board issued a statement opposing outing.
And finally, Chris Barron stepped down from his role as Chairman of the board. In his place, the board has appointed Lisa de Pasquale, a far right social conservative activist, to head the organization.
I don’t know de Pasquale’s orientation. The only references google gave for “Lisa de Pasquale” and “lesbian” were nasty comments she’d written which clearly suggest that she sees lesbians as inherently objectionable.
If de Pasquale is lesbian, she is of the closeted variety. The nasty vicious hateful closeted variety.
Which makes GOProud accomplish something I would have thought unlikely a week ago: become even less relevant.
Sure gay groups have straight members. Some are in leadership. And that is part of inclusiveness.
But when you choose a not-openly-gay person to head the board because you don’t actually have any other gay people, you don’t get to call yourself a gay group anymore.
At this point I think perhaps we should treat GOProud like PFOX: an irrelevant group claiming to represent people who don’t know or care that they exist.
Jimmy and Chris, your little stunt was fun while it lasted, but it’s time you just went home and did something productive with your lives.
[Revised to correct the timeline on the outing of Tony Fabrizio]
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