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GOPround Co-Founder Resigns, Blasts Group for “Unconditional Surrender to the Forces of Intolerance”

Jim Burroway

February 20th, 2014

GOProud co-founders Jimmy LaSalvia (L) and Chris Barron

Yesterday, National Journal excitedly reported that “the kinder, gentler Conservative Political Action Conference” has decided to “welcome” GOProud back to the fold after being kicked out in 2011. National Journal however was very clear about the limits of that so-called welcome:

Two former GOProud summer interns, Ross Hemminger and Matt Bechstein, took over last summer and sought to repair the bitterly frayed relationship. Under a compromise reached last week, they will attend the March 6-8 gathering as guests, without sponsorship or a booth. GOProud sees the lower-profile role as an important first step.

In other words, they’re welcome as long as they sit quitely and don’t say anything. COProud co-founder Chris Barron resigned from the board following the announcement, calling the move an “unconditional surrender”:

“Last night I resigned from the Board of GOProud, the organization that I co-founded back in April of 2009. I cannot in good conscience sit by and watch as the current leadership of the organization disingenuously pawns off an unconditional surrender to the forces of bigotry as some sort of ‘compromise,'” Barron told BuzzFeed. “Nothing has changed in regards to GOProud and CPAC, GOProud does not have a booth, they are not a sponsor, they are not participating in any formal sense – individual members can attend and that’s exactly the terms ACU dictated the previous few years.”

…”There was a time when GOProud was on the front lines of the fight for a more inclusive conservative movement –- we won some of those battles and we lost some of those battles, but we were always honest about the outcome. If the current leadership of GOProud, or whats left of it, believes that unconditional surrender to the forces of intolerance is in the best interest of the organization, than they should just be honest about it,” he said

Earlier this year, another GOProud co-founder, Jimmy LaSalvia, announced that he was leaving the Republican Party altogether, citing “the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP.” He resigned as GOProud’s Executive Directer last year to work for the ACLU.



February 20th, 2014 | LINK

I didn’t even know GOProud was still in existence until this happened.

Ben In Oakland
February 20th, 2014 | LINK

I guess if you get hit over the head with a baseball bat enough times, eventually you may wish to stay away from people with bats, find your balls, and go home.

Timothy Kincaid
February 20th, 2014 | LINK

I have no idea why so much attention has ever been given to GOProud. They never represented gay Republicans.

As best I could tell it was Jimmy, Chris, and a handful of straight people who wanted to hold onto anti-gay positions while telling themselves that they weren’t bigots.

Or maybe that’s why the group was turned over to the interns. No other gay people in sight.

February 21st, 2014 | LINK

I’m baffled why anyone would want to rally behind the GOP. (And Given the reality of the current Republican party, the pipe dream of changing it from within is ludicrous).

I’m convinced the GOProud/LogCabin boys are desperately seeking out approval from and authoritarian, abusive father figure (in this case the GOP) or their love of money outstrips their desire for equal civil rights.

February 21st, 2014 | LINK

It greatly disappoints me that there is increasingly no middle political ground. Conservatives are demanding no compromise either socially or fiscally, while liberals have found they can go no further on fiscal matters without betraying their base. If moderates keep handing control of the GOP to extremists, we are eventually going to become a one-party system.

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