Its closing is as undignified as its entire existence. GOProud, the gay Tea Party Republican group founded just five years ago by two former Log Cabin Republican frat boys, is closing its doors. A widely-disputed, but, as it turns out, correct exclusive report by Andrew Markle at Bilerico broke the news yesterday.
“Finding it difficult to continue without securing more funding, GOProud will be shutting down immediately – an homage to an era gone by,” Markle wrote. “The shuttering is undoubtedly necessary as the organization’s full effectiveness has been tarnished.”
The organization may rebrand and regroup later, but for now, the organization will no longer be functioning. Co-director Matthew Bechstein stated in an interview that the “brand is broken” and a rebrand is necessary.
After ignoring ludicrous denials from the Twittersphere by interested parties not in the know, Bilerico founder Bil Browning today published a second report:
After Andrew Markle’s story yesterday that the far-right conservative LGBT group GOProud was shutting down, the organization’s leadership took to Facebook to deny the reporting saying, “Nothing could be further from the truth” and “GOProud is not closing. It is growing.” Today, however, the group confirmed it plans to kill the GOProud brand and will attempt to reorganize as a grassroots online organization with a new name.
“I posted what I had to on Facebook so I wouldn’t scare our members and thwart our fundraising efforts,” Executive Director Matthew Bechstein told Bilerico Project in an exclusive interview. “I wanted to mitigate a disaster.”
While yesterday’s Facebook posting originally denied the report saying it was “misinformation” and the work of someone “that will stop at nothing to discredit our organization and its leadership team,” when presented with quotes he had made to Markle during a previous interview, Bechstein admitted that GOProud would soon cease to exist.
“There have been concerns among our members and investors about whether or not we can continue to grow and be effective without severing ourselves from past controversies,” Bechstein said in a separately emailed statement.
On the GOProud website minutes ago, Bechstein called it a “rebranding,” that would necessitate a “momentary…closure.”
GOProud co-founders Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron‘s antics since they started GOProud were often vile, offensive, unprofessional, and did little to advance the cause of equality. They regularly lambasted the left, frequently calling Democratic, liberal, or progressive members of the LGBT community “the most intolerant.”
In April of last year, LaSalvia and Barron up and quit GOProud entirely, claiming their efforts had been “successful.” By what measure was anyone’s guess. After all, it was just months earlier, in January, that GOProud finally stopped opposing same-sex marriage. And it was just months before their embrace of marriage equality that GOProud endorsed the man who had told a group of LGBT parents, “I didn’t know you people had families,” Mitt Romney, for president, claiming he was “light years better” than Barack Obama.
— GOPROUD (@GOPROUD) March 12, 2013
— GOPROUD (@GOPROUD) December 29, 2011
In January, LaSalvia left the Republican Party, citing anti-gay bigotry — as if it would make a difference to anyone. Lost on him was the fact that the left had been clamoring for years about the anti-gay bigotry on the right, and he had ignored those criticisms.
There’s so much more that could be said about GOProud, their frat house antics, disregard for decency, patronizing hiring of Ann Coulter, de-facto endorsement of Michele Bachmann, the reason LaSalvia and Barron had to step down from day-to-day operations in 2011, etc., but, well, why even bother? Instead, let’s just say, “thanks for nothing,” and, “good riddance.”
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