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GOProud founder leaving Republican party in part over ‘tolerance of bigotry’

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Jimmy LaSalvia

Jimmy LaSalvia

Jimmy LaSalvia, the co-founder and former executive director of GOProud, a U.S. political action group representing gay conservatives, announced Tuesday he was leaving the Republican party due in part to the “tolerance of bigotry in the GOP.”

I’ve said for a long time that both John McCain and Mitt Romney won independents, but lost the election, because most independents used to be Republicans. They were Republicans, but now they are too embarrassed to formally affiliate with a party that’s lost its way.

Today, I joined the ranks of unaffiliated voters. I am every bit as conservative as I’ve always been, but I just can’t bring myself to carry the Republican label any longer. You see, I just don’t agree with the big-government ‘conservatives’ who run the party now.

The other reason I am leaving is the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP. The current leadership lacks the courage to stand up to it – I’m not sure they ever will.

I have worked hard to help to create an atmosphere on the right where conservatives can openly support gay Americans and even support same-sex marriage. In that effort, we have won, but there is more work to do to root out the anti-gay and other forms of bigotry in the party.

So I changed my voter registration today – “No Party.”

LaSalvia now calls himself an “independent conservative,” which he says sounds much better than ‘gay Republican.’”

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84 more reader comments:

  1. Those who are inherently intolerant can not scream for tolerance.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:16pm
  2. I find it difficult to understand how one can be openly gay and “conservative,” conservative values are the cause of hatred and intolerance toward our community and those who we must naturally support (racial minorities, the poor, women, etc.)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:18pm
  3. Self hatred!

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:21pm
  4. I left for the same reason.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:34pm
  5. I know someone who is an ally but is moderate conservative. Usually people like these are socially liberal but fiscally conservative. Not always the case, though.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:46pm
  6. Abraham Lincoln brought about the end of slavery. Dwight D. Eisenhower started desegregation. Warren G. Harding did not hold any racial animosity, according to historian Carl S. Anthony. In a speech on October 26, 1921, given in segregated Birmingham, Alabama Harding advocated civil rights for African Americans; the first President to openly advocate black political, educational, and economic equality during the 20th century. Harding went further and viewed the race problem as a national and international issue and desired that the sectionalism of the Solid South and black membership of the Republican party be broken up. He named some African Americans to federal positions, such as Walter L. Cohen of New Orleans, Louisiana, whom he named comptroller of customs. He supported Congressman Leonidas Dyer's federal anti-lynching bill, known as the Dyer Bill, which passed the House of Representatives on January 26, 1922. The bill was defeated in the Senate by a Democratic filibuster. He had previously spoken out publicly against lynching on October 21, 1921. Calvin Coolidge spoke in favor of the civil rights of African Americans and Catholics. Signed an act which granted full US citizenship to all Indigenous American Tribes and permitting them to retain tribal land and cultural rights. He repeatedly called for anti-lynching laws to be enacted, but most Congressional attempts to pass this legislation were filibustered by Southern Democrats. He appointed some African Americans to federal office. Richard Nixon witnessed the first large-scale integration of public schools in the South. He sought a middle way between the segregationist Wallace and liberal Democrats, whose support of integration was alienating some Southern whites. Hopeful of doing well in the South in 1972, he sought to dispose of desegregation as a political issue before then. Soon after his inauguration, he appointed Vice President Agnew to lead a task force, which worked with local leaders—both white and black—to determine how to integrate local schools. Most of the work was done by Labor Secretary George Shultz. Federal aid was available, and a meeting with President Nixon was a possible reward for compliant committees. By September 1970, less than ten percent of black children were attending segregated schools. Nixon opposed busing personally but enforced court orders requiring its use. In addition to desegregating public schools, Nixon implemented the Philadelphia Plan in 1970—the first significant federal affirmative action program. He also endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment after it passed both houses of Congress in 1972 and went to the states for ratification. Nixon had campaigned as an ERA supporter in 1968, though feminists criticized him for doing little to help the ERA or their cause after his election. Nevertheless, he appointed more women to administration positions than Lyndon Johnson had. Gerald Ford was an outspoken supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, issuing Presidential Proclamation no. 4383 in 1975: In this Land of the Free, it is right, and by nature it ought to be, that all men and all women are equal before the law. Now, therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, to remind all Americans that it is fitting and just to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment adopted by the Congress of the United States of America, in order to secure legal equality for all women and men, do hereby designate and proclaim August 26, 1975, as Women's Equality Day. George H.W. Bush signed a number of major laws in his presidency, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; this was one of the most pro-civil rights bills in decades. He is also the only President to successfully veto a civil rights act, having vetoed the job-discrimination protection Civil Rights Act of 1990. Bush feared racial quotas would be imposed, but later approved watered-down Civil Rights Act of 1991. George W. Bush signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The bill protects Americans against discrimination based on their genetic information when it comes to health insurance and employment. The issue had been debated for 13 years before becoming law. It is designed to protect citizens while not hindering genetic research. All of these men were Republicans. Just because the outspoken Republicans are against women, non-whites, and non-heteros does not mean they are all against equal rights. Or that their conservative values are going to be harmful to others. And if you'll notice, each time the Democratic party was mentioned, they were AGAINST civil rights, desegregation, equal treatment, and were the ones advocating harmful policies (i.e. lynching).

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:06pm
  7. About 60 years ago Josh. Try to keep up.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:19pm
  8. it all comes down to their money choices of loving money more than people like them is what makes them conservative, because they believe their money can open doors that sheer will power and protesting cannot. Unfortunately they are deluded.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:21pm
  9. Actually "conservative values" are NOT "the cause of hatred and intolerance", any more than ALL Muslims are terrorists, or all Christians are homophobic.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 12:08am
  10. Bullshit DJ. Conservatives are motivated by fear, Liberals are motivated by hope.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 12:09am
  11. Don, please explain how that lie of yours is supposed to work? The Democrats of 60 years ago, mostly remained Democrats the rest of their lives. In fact, John Dingell, Thad Cochran, and John Conyers were ALL members of the Democratic party during the civil rights battles of 50 years ago... Each is STILL a Democratic member of Congress today! NEITHER party gets a "pass" or all the guilt for intolerance! Remember that Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress gave us DADT!

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 12:14am
  12. Political accommodation and they changed their minds, that is the difference. The Republican filth have only gotten more in bed with pseudo Christian hypocrites.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 12:16am
  13. you know most of the Earth was covered with water at one time... that was then. this is now.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 1:19am
  14. Using terms like "Republican filoth" while attempting to make an intelligent point defeats that intent. The Repubs have no more filth than the Dems. Neither party cares about anything but their own power. They both claim they want to end debt, hunger, and unemployment. If that were true, those things would be at least REDUCED. The truth is, they "spar" over minor points publicly, just enough to keep people from seeing that they are actually the same thing! The two parties are no more than the left and right cheeks of the same ASS...

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:10am
  15. The Repubs have FAR MORE filth than Dems (and no, I'm not a member of either party.) What is interesting is people like DJ who throw pot shots at anyone pointing out the particularly shitty nature of Republicans (and yes, they actually have a platform you can read and everything), who then sit back as if they can rise above it all. Bullshit.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:23am
  16. Gay republican is the same as a Jewish nazi!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:18pm
  17. Same with Republicult women.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:22pm
  18. and PETA members being vegan.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:25pm
  19. Casey that makes no sense.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:38pm
  20. I know someone who is an ally but is moderate conservative. Usually people like these are socially liberal but fiscally conservative. Not always the case, though.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:46pm
  21. I don't get it either David!

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:51pm
  22. RIGHT ON PHILIP!!!

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:03pm
  23. Oxymoron.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:04pm
  24. Jewish nazi is not an oxymoron any more just look at Israel.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:19pm
  25. He has a point . . .

    Replied on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:41pm
  26. These stereotypical insults are as untrue as most stereotypes are. The log cabin Republicans are not "Jewish Nazi's", and for the issue of women, WHICH party keeps sending support to the idiots who rape, burn and murder women for being rape victims? (Not to mention that they brutally execute gays.) I will never belong to EITHER party, because NEITHER has our interests at heart...

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 12:06am
  27. Right, because Republicans go around genociding people like the Nazis. Smh

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 2:30am
  28. D.J Starr,you rock,you´ve said it all !

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:11am
  29. He opened his eyes.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:21pm
  30. Gay Republican = oxymoron

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:25pm
  31. I’m honestly surprised it took him this long to see it.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:27pm
  32. How in the name of ALL that is holy did it take him this long?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:29pm
  33. “No Party” is just more of the same from you so called “GOP gays”! You are still angry you were not accepted with open arms and changed the bigotry and hatred of the GOP and the TP that you so needed! Your own inadequacies have proven you are not truly for LGBT causes, you are for yourselves. It must be difficult to see the Blue states making progressive changes while the red ones attempt to go backward.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:31pm
  34. I have 30 years of gay activism under my belt, and while I am not a Republican, I am also NOT foolish enough to be a Democrat. Statements such as the one ASSuming why people would join, or leave a party are foolishness, and usually just as hateful as the actions that are being claimed the "evil ones" commit.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:31am
  35. What did he expect?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:33pm
  36. Gay republicans are a joke. He’s leaving because of the tolerance of bigotry in the republican party? What a joke! Bigotry in the republican party is nothing new. It’s been going on for decades. How is it he never noticed it before. He’s ridiculous.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:38pm
  37. bigotry stems from stereotypical thinking, which you seem VERY familiar with... Hate brings hate, it solves nothing!

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:24am
  38. Nothing stereotypical about anything I said if it's true and it is.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:51am
  39. Tolerance? How about the nurturing and exploitation of bigotry as a basic principle of the party?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:39pm
  40. I suppose it’s a good thing when the biggest of idiots gets the tiniest of clues.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:40pm
  41. Mike, wrong topic. Start a thread about yours and it will get the attention it deserves.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:40pm
  42. Talk about coming late to the party.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:43pm
  43. he tried. i’m socially liberal but i don’t want a large intrusive government. it’s clear though that while the GOP stands for small government, they are fine with intruding into your bedroom and dictating morality. i give him credit for at least trying to reform the GOP and reason with them. apparently they are incapable of reason because they are so consumed with hate.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:44pm
  44. Duh

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:51pm
  45. Can’t wait to see the shock on his face when it registers that the world is indeed NOT flat! What a revelation!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:51pm
  46. It’s about time..

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:53pm
  47. Not only tolerance but promotion of bigotry.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:03pm
  48. ‘Tolerance of bigotry’!? It’s more like ‘the nurturing and exploitation of bigotry’ as a basic principle of the GOP. They wage war against women, minorities, poor and middle-class folks and seem to believe the likes of the Koch brothers are their true base.

    The GOP is losing other minority outreach workers as well. The Florida Hispanic Outreach director quit last year and became a Democrat. He couldn’t take the racism and intolerance any more.

    I’m glad this LaSalvia finally woke up to the obvious — better late than never.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:04pm
  49. "war on women"? Still pushing THAT tired talking point? Look at the Islamic terrorists the Dems support, who subjugate women, own slaves, and keep most everybody poor! Stop listening to the talking points, or at least apply some common sense to what they claim...

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:12am
  50. REALLY?? IT TOOK HIM LONG ENOUGH!!! I WONDER WHAT REALLY HAPPENED…??? MAYBE THEY SENT HIM TO HELL MORE LIKELY.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:07pm
  51. I refuse to use a label like a political party – I vote according to what a candidate has done or what they say they will do. Republicans are not at all in favor of same-sex marriage – so it kind of leaves Libertarians in the lead (sure don’t want the tax and spend of Democrats!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:08pm
  52. I will never shun any member of our LGBT community, but that doesn’t mean I will shake his hand. In my view he is a traitor and he is only leaving them because the scraps from the masters’ table weren’t big enough for him. Hopefully he will do some real good now.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:08pm
  53. Log cabin republicans are just self hating gays

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:08pm
  54. And you know every member of that group? If not, you are just talking nonsense... I know several log cabin Republicans, and I would not consider a single one of them to be "self-hating". Nor would I suggest that about the minority Republicans I know. (The ones that the media and Democrats pretend don't exist) For all of the people here talking about the "intolerant judgmentalism" and hate that the GOP are "all" guilty of, it seems that they are showing their own share of those SAME characteristics... YOU people are NO different than the people you are bitching about!

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:17am
  55. Yes we are.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:24am
  56. Josh hemm you’re delusional if you think that the current GOP would ever do any of those things today. It’s the hate party period.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:11pm
  57. Happy birthday, Mr. LaSalvia. Let me know if you would like to be disabused of any other misapprehensions you have about the Rethugs or conservatism in America.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:13pm
  58. Duh. That is all.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:18pm
  59. join the tea party now and see if they too will let you change things from within. Damned traitorous log cabin republicans.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:19pm
  60. Glad you got out. Time to join the real world.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:24pm
  61. Josh Hemm, go check out the Southern Strategy and you will see that those Democrats, whom you so rightfully disdain, actually became the backbone of the modern Republican Party. I say this as one who has never been a member of any political party in any country in which I have lived.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:24pm
  62. Name these Democrats who you CLAIM became the "backbone" of the Republican party? The Democrats who attempted to filibuster the Civil Rights act, like Al Gore Sr, John Dingell, Thad Cochran, and the majority leaders Carl Hayden and John McCormack who King and Malcolm X both protested against? Please offer the names of these "backbones"?

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:23am
  63. Untill he leaves the GOP REALLY then we can talk. and I agree a Gay Republican is a SKANKYMORON (take on Oxymoron)!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:30pm
  64. Tell me where you surprised?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:30pm
  65. He stayed on as long as he could…because he’s rich!
    He’s still going to vote Republican. He sucks.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10:47pm
  66. Oh my, what a surprise that an lgbt person can’t make any progress with the GOPpers. Oh my.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 11:02pm
  67. Perhaps there is hope for all the other deluded conservatives. Except in Indiana, of course… ;-)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 11:04pm
  68. I find it hard to understand how any LGBT person can be in the Republican party; afterall the GOPs social tenets are also very, very conservative and restrictive! But that seems to be the way of uniformed poor Republicans and Gay Republicans, voting against their self interest!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 11:27pm
  69. Good

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 11:47pm
  70. So now what? Liberyarisn? Independent? Or vote for the party that has LGBT interests at heart as well as those of the middle- and working-class Americans.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 11:52pm
  71. The Libertarians come closer to actually fulfilling that description than the Dems or the Repubs. The Middle class is being destroyed by current policies, and the Dems support of gay rights is only because it fits within their agenda at the moment. What will happen when militant Muslims start killing us for being gay? Where will the Democrat allegiance go?

    Replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:27am
  72. Re: ”LaSalvia now calls himself an “independent conservative,” which he says sounds much better than ‘gay Republican’.” No., self-loathing faggot who votes against self and his own is still self-loathing faggot who votes against his self and own. I am ashamed of him, whatever he calls himself now.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 11:55pm
  73. Sheer Shock! I thought the “gay” GOPers didn’t care

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 12:09am
  74. Hello, LGBT people, conservatives are not your friends.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 1:11am
  75. the term “gay republican” is an oxymoron anyway.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 1:29am
  76. I dare say he won’t be missed by the gop

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 1:45am
  77. a gay conservative like a jewish nazi is basically a self hating idiot.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 2:04am
  78. He finally realized that no matter how many fiscally conservative jingoism that fall from his mouth, they were never going to accept his gay ass! That took way too long!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:10am
  79. It is where the party as a whole pitched their tent in order to get the necessary votes. Former democratic voters crossed over in order to keep as much of the status quo as possible. Don’t go crazy just because someone assaults your sensibilities with an idea that is not to your liking. Move on man. Just move on.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:30am
  80. I’m saddened by all of these hateful comments. Many are NO better than the hate-speak the posters are accusing the other party of. While there ARE people affiliated with the GOP who are homophobic, there are also those affiliated with the Democrats who support the Muslim extremists who would MURDER us all publicly, and CELIBATE their “good deed”… Neither party can be summed up so simply, and no person’s motives or thoughts are known to us, beyond our own…
    If we hate on these people, and condemn their beliefs, how then can we reasonably demand that they NOT do the same to ours?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:37am
  81. Imagine that bigotry and hatred in the GOP!!!???? That’s what those ignorant asses are all about. I find it very hard to understand any gay person in their right mind being affiliated with that group of nut jobs!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:55am
  82. When GW Bush was exploring his candidacy for President, he was secretly tape recorded stating that he would only run on the condition that his campaign would not be based on vilifying marginalized groups — he mentioned gays as an example. But when he political career was threatened, he became the first President in history to try to introduce a Constitutional amendment to discriminate against gay people. Key Republicans don’t care anything about gays, really — so much so that if we can be used to bait the voters into the polls — then so be it — a tool to protect their real monetary and power interests. That is not about being politically expedient, it is about being an asshole. Democrats may not have championed us as much as they could have in fear of voter backlash, but we were never a red herring platform point simply to appease the “base.” Though I will disagree that Republicans are truly fiscally conservative (they like to spend on credit!), but even if they were, I don’t excuse my rapist simply because he left $10 on my pillow.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 4:01am
  83. I could have told you NOT to go with the Republicans……tsk! tsk! tsk!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 4:07am
  84. Duh! Took him long enough! Look at the harm your GOP cost us!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 4:14am