If it is news to you that the gay GOP group GOProud did not support same-sex marriage equality, you’re not alone. GOProud, the Tea Party branch for gay Republicans, a group that was founded by former Log Cabin Republicans Chris Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia, who were impatient with LCR’s progress, has never been conventional, but it is shocking that they point to Democratic President Barack Obama‘s support of same-sex marriage as one reason to change policy.
“Since our founding, GOProud has worked exclusively on federal issues,” a press release from the GOProud Board of Directors today states. “Because marriage has been a state issue since the founding of our country, we have had no official position on marriage or relationship recognition. We have supported, and continue to support, the repeal of DOMA, and we oppose any effort to federalize marriage through a constitutional amendment. Now that GOProud’s Board of Directors has voted to begin work on the state and local level, we believe it is important to lay out our principles when it comes to marriage and relationship recognition.”
And while it’s certainly true that GOProud has focused on national politics, a look at their 2009 inaugural press release notes “GOProud promised [sic] to support a traditional conservative agenda that will improve the every day lives of gays and lesbians across the country.”
But GOProud’s support of same-sex marriage equality puts ideology over action, and policy over people.
“GOProud believes that stable, loving, committed relationships are the cornerstone of our society and should be protected and encouraged for all couples – including gay and lesbian couples,” today’s statement adds:
We believe that the decision about how to best do this is one that should be made at the state level and that these decisions are best made by the people directly or through their elected representatives – not by unelected judges.
Where civil marriage is possible, we support civil marriage. Where civil unions are possible, we support civil unions. Where domestic partner benefits are possible, we support domestic partner benefits. As federalists, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach on almost any issue and that includes relationship recognition for gay couples.
We are firmly committed to winning hearts and minds, which is why we understand that not everyone who doesn’t support marriage for gay couples is automatically a bigot or homophobe. We understand that there are people of deep faith who may have religious objections to marriage. We respect those differences and believe that no church or religious institution should ever be forced to solemnize a marriage that is against its teachings.
Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner, who broke the news today, writes:
The move follows a decision by the GOProud board earlier this month to expand the group’s mission to include state-level work. It also comes after, LaSalvia noted, the reelection of a president who supports same-sex couples’ marriage rights, while some in the Republican Party are urging their party to reassess their position on the issue.
Frankly, GOProud is considered by these pages to be largely an exercise in ego and an attempt at celebrity status, as they have never actually accomplished anything of substance we can point to (note to Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron, et al — feel free to correct us), other than garner attention for what, in our opinion, are their bad boy escapades and their ever-opportunistic attempts online and on cable TV news to harangue, attack, and lambast Democrats, the left, liberals, progressives, and especially those who identify as such — plus LGBT.
After all, it’s extraordinarily inconceivable for a group that purportedly was created to in part to “improve the every day lives of gays and lesbians across the country,” to regularly hob knob with and even pay anti-gay public figures, like Ann Coulter, to headline their fundraising and/or political events, and even place her on their Advisory Board.
But hey, welcome to the fight for equality — however late you are to the battle, however hypocritical or self-serving one’s actions may be, there’s strength in numbers.
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