As a founder of GOProud, a group for gay Republicans, Jimmy LaSalvia served for years as a cheerleader for a party whose policies were openly antagonistic to LGBT concerns. Not that LaSalvia seem to have any problem with that–his organization endorsed an impressive away of unfriendly candidates in 2012 and only got around to supporting marriage equality a year ago.
Still, reality has finally hit LaSalvia in the face. In a post on his website, he has announced that he has formally renounced his membership in the Republican party and declared his affiliation as “no party.” Why? You’ll be astonished to learn that it’s because he can’t abide “the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP.”
As if that’s a new phenomenon.
“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,” LaSalvia writes in a fit of self-congratulation. “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.”
Now it’s always good when someone finally drops the delusions. But let’s state the obvious here. The bigotry was there all along. In fact, by putting party loyalty over the LGBT community, GOProud helped enable it.
For a long time, GOProud provide cover to the party, insisting that there was a significant element in it that was supportive of gay rights. While there are a handful of Republicans who voted for ENDA and favor marriage equality, they are a tiny fragment of the whole party. Right now, the majority of the GOP opposes anything that appears pro-LGBT. That’s not going to change anytime soon.
LaSalvia said that the other reason he is leaving the Republican party is his disagreement with “the big-government ‘conservatives’ who run the party now.” Funny, but he didn’t seem to have that problem with George W. Bush, who massively expanded government with Medicare Part D and an unfunded war. In fact, LaSalvia left Log Cabin Republicans because he felt they had drifted too far to the left by refusing to endorse Bush in 2004.
You remember 2004. That’s the year that Bush used state anti-marriage initiatives to turn out Christian right voters.
That kind of revisionism is a hallmark of the modern GOP. It’s also a hallmark of LaSalvia’s career. It just goes to prove you can take the man out of the party, but you can’t take the party out of the man.