|Formation||April 15, 2009|
|Region served||United States|
|Founders||Christopher R. Barron
|Affiliations||Metroplex Republicans Dallas
GOProud is an American tax exempt 527 organization representing conservative gay men, lesbians, and their allies. GOProud advocates for free markets, limited government, and a respect for individual rights and works at the federal and state levels to build strong coalitions of conservative and libertarian activists, organizations and policy makers to advance their shared values and beliefs.
GOProud was founded by Christopher R. Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia, two former Log Cabin Republican staffers who expressed dissatisfaction at that organization's generally centrist political positions. GOProud has subsequently co-sponsored the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and have added political commentator/author Ann Coulter, political commentator/strategist Margaret Hoover, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, new media specialist Liz Mair, political analyst Lisa De Pasquale, and political communications consultant Chuck Muth.
- 1 Board of Directors
- 2 Advisory Council
- 3 GOProud affiliates
- 4 History
- 5 Political positions
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Board of Directors
- Gabriel E. Gomez
- Christopher R. Barron
- Lisa De Pasquale (Board Chair)
- Dennis P. Duquette
- Jessica Lee
- Kathryn Serkes
Jimmy LaSalvia and Christopher R. Barron co-founded GOProud on April 15, 2009. LaSalvia was the Director of Programs and Policy for the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay organization identifying with Republican ideals. Barron was the Political Director at Log Cabin Republicans before both men decided to leave with hopes of a creating a better organization that dealt with more conservative values. They wanted to focus on the issues of the conservative agenda not social issues, which Log Cabin Republicans dealt with. Barron and LaSalvia believe that same-sex marriage is a state issue and therefore wanted an organization that focused on the real conservative agenda. Margaret Hoover, a member of the advisory council, added her opinion into the mix, "GOProud has helped force gays out of the conservative establishment-- what I would call the 'conser-va-gentsia'--to take on these self-anointed leaders of social conservatism." 
On October 21, 2010, GOProud became the first gay rights organization to release a campaign commercial against Democratic candidates. The commercial, titled "The Real Democrats of Washington, D.C.", specifically targets openly gay Representative Barney Frank, as well as Senator Barbara Boxer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual political conference attended by conservative activists and elected officials from across the United States invited GOProud to its 2010 conference. The Family Research Council was the first to start an uproar and boycott CPAC over the GOProud invite. Groups that followed the FRC in boycotting included the Concerned Women for America, American Principles Project, Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Council, and National Organization for Marriage. These conservative groups worry that adding gays will weaken the movement.
During a panel at the 2010 CPAC, Alexander McCobin, co-founder and executive director of Students For Liberty, opened his remarks by thanking the American Conservative Union for welcoming GOProud as a co-sponsor of the event. Ryan Sorba, chairman of the California Young Americans for Freedom and author of The "Born Gay" Hoax, attempted to derail support for GOProud at CPAC. During his speech at the convention, he condemned GOProud for entering the conference but was eventually booed by the audience.
Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and Vice Presidential Candidate, and Sharron Angle, 2010 Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, joined the fight in support of GOProud. Palin commended CPAC by saying she is "always in favor of freedom" and that GOProud is included in the "different, diverse groups … involved in political discourse.” Angle told the Huffington Post, “We need to be very careful when we get to talk about our opinions and be inclusive.” 
Homocon was a meeting for GOProud members on September 25, 2010 in New York City. Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and GOProud donor, hosted the event at his home in the city. Ann Coulter was the headline speaker at this meeting. Coulter declared herself as the "right-wing Judy Garland". Christopher R. Barron, the co-founder had said, "Among gay conservatives, she is an icon. We could not think of anyone who we would want to party with more."
Coulter told the audience that she did not support gay marriage and that marriage is not a civil right. Coulter also criticized sex education in schools. She also said that "not only can gays be conservative, you pretty much have to be," because they are the "highest income demographic," because "gays are too stylish to work for the federal government," because radical Muslims want to execute them, and because "once [scientists] find the gay gene, guess who's getting aborted?" Barron defended Coulter against some critics, explaining, "Homocon 2010 was a complete and total success. GOProud set out to throw a great party, not hold a policy event, and that’s exactly what we did."
In 2011, American Conservative Union’s board voted to not allow GOProud to co-sponsor the 2011 CPAC event. This lead to controversy among the entities who wanted GOProud to sponsor the event. At the 2011 CPAC, during Ann Coulter's question and answer segment, she was asked about GOProud and the controversy over their exclusion from the 2011 CPAC. She boasted how she talked GOProud in dropping its support for same-sex marriage in the party's platform and said that "The left is trying to co-opt gays, and I don't think we should let them. I think they should be on our side" and "Gays are natural conservatives".
"Don't ask, don't tell"
"Don't ask, don't tell" is a political issue and policy enacted in 1993. This policy allowed homosexuals to serve in the military as long as their sexual orientation was undisclosed. GOProud was an outspoken supporter of repealing the policy and made "don't ask, don't tell" a priority. In order to help reverse this policy, GOProud went after the politicians who wanted to reinstate or reverse the repeal. Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota, and former 2012 candidate for the Republican nomination for President, spoke out about the policy. Pawlenty wanted a reversal of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell". GOProud made a public statement condemning Pawlenty. Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania Senator and 2012 candidate for the Republican nomination for President, is another politician who would reinstate the policy if elected President. GOProud had also condemned these remarks made by the former Senator.
Founders LaSalvia, who is also Executive Director, and Barron outed gay pollster and Perry campaign adviser Tony Fabrizio over Rick Perry's "Strong" campaign ad, citing what they viewed as homophobic themes in the ad. LaSalvia also used a homophobic slur in his own tweet on the subject: "I've just about had it with faggots who line their pockets with checks from anti-gay homophobes while throwing the rest of us under the bus". The ensuing fallout over the outing caused the late conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart to resign from GOProud's board. This move has also caused controversy inside the group, with many top members expressing disagreement and disgust over the outing.
GOProud was again excluded from sponsoring CPAC in 2012.
2012 presidential election
On June 20, 2012, GOProud endorsed Mitt Romney for president although Romney opposes same sex marriage and civil unions, supports a federal marriage amendment banning same sex marriage, and supported strict gun control as Governor of Massachusetts. Romney supports limited domestic partnerships for same sex couples, same sex adoption, anti-discrimination laws for LGBT people at the state level, and has said he would not reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell if he was elected president.
GOProud was once again excluded from sponsoring CPAC in 2013, however this lead to some criticism from some, such as S. E. Cupp and Chris Hayes, who boycotted attending CPAC that year over the issue.
In April 2013, the two co-founders, executive director Jimmy LaSalvia and senior strategist Chris Barron, announced plans to step back from their day-to-day roles with the group as a new executive director is selected.
In July 2013 the organization's Board of Directors announced that their new Leadership team consisted of Ross Hemminger, a former aid to US Senator Scott Brown; and Matthew Bechstein, a public relations consultant from California.
The top ten issues concerning GOProud include:
- Tax Reform: We support replacing the current tax code with the Fair Tax. The Fair Tax would treat everyone – gay or straight – equally. Until then, we support death tax repeal; domestic partner tax equity; cuts in the capital gains and corporate tax rates to jump start our economy and create jobs; a fairer, flatter and substantially simpler tax code.
- Healthcare Reform: Repeal of Obamacare; encourage free market healthcare reform. Allow for the purchase of insurance across state lines – expanding access to domestic partner benefits; emphasizing individual ownership of healthcare insurance – such a shift would prevent discriminatory practices by an employer or the government.
- Social Security Reform: The only way to permanent solvency in the Social Security system is through the creation of inheritable personal savings accounts. Personal savings accounts would give gay and lesbian couples the same opportunity to leave their accounts to their spouses as their straight counterparts.
- Respecting The Proper Role Of The Judiciary: We believe our Constitution should be respected and that judges appointed to the federal bench should recognize the proper and appropriate role of the judiciary as laid out by our Founding Fathers.
- Holding The Line On Spending: Standing up for all tax payers against wasteful and unnecessary spending to protect future generations from the mounting federal debt.
- Fighting Global Extremists: Standing strong against radical regimes that refuse to recognize the basic human rights of gays and lesbians, women and religious minorities.
- Defending Our Constitution: Opposing any anti-gay federal marriage amendment. Marriage should be a question for the states. A federal constitutional amendment on marriage would be an unprecedented federal power grab from the states.
- Empowering Individuals To Defend Themselves: Protecting 2nd amendment rights. The answer to stopping bias motivated crime is not the Hate Crimes laws, instead we support empowering individuals to lawfully protect themselves.
- Respecting States Rights: Supporting a strong 10th Amendment that limits the scope of the federal government and empowers states; repealing the federal Defense of Marriage Act and return power to regulate marriage and family law to the states.
- Education Reform: The answer to the serious problem of bullying is not more federal intervention in education. Instead, we support empowering parents and families by supporting school choice initiatives and protecting the right of parents to homeschool their children.
On January 18, 2013, GOProud officially came out in support of same-sex marriage at a state by state level. Prior to that, GOProud had no official position on marriage or relationship recognition. In 2011, Ann Coulter claimed she had got GOProud to take its support of same sex marriage out of its platform.
While GOProud doesn't have an official position on abortion, GOProud has attended anti-abortion rallies and Christopher Barron said that "I want pro-life gays to know they have a home here." Jimmy LaSalvia is pro-life and warned the gay community should be pro-life because of the threat of selective abortions of gay fetuses.
GOProud has no official position on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. In 2009, GOProud supported the inclusion of the Thune-Vitter Concealed Carry Reciprocity Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010.
- Mcgurn, William (2009-04-14). "Gay, Proud and Conservative". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Our Mission". Retrieved 2010-05-09.
- "Board of Directors & Advisory Council". Goproud.org. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- "New Media Specialist Liz Mair to Join GOProud's Advisory Council". Goproud.org. 2011-01-25. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- Chris Geidner (2011-02-12). "For GOProud, Tammy Bruce Is Out And Former ACU Executive Director Chuck Muth Is In - Poliglot". Metroweekly.com. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- Chris Geidner. "Board of Directors".
- "Ann Coulter Joins Advisory Council of GOP Homosexual Group". Christian Post Politics. August 10, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- "Metroplex Republicans Dallas". Metroplexrepublicans.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- "Right Pride". Right Pride. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Zeller, Shawn. "Out But In: New Strategy For Conservative Status." CQ Weekly 68.27 (2010): 1610-1611. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.
- "A New Conservative Agenda." Advocate 1051 (2011): 7-8. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.
- "GOProud Unveils Television Advertising Campaign Targeting Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer and Congressional Democrats". Goproud.org. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- "Real Democrats of Washington DC". YouTube. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- "New GOP Gay Group Promotes Conservative Philosophy." Contemporary Sexuality 45.4 (2011): 9. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 Dec. 2011.
- Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times. "CPAC Meeting Raises Gay Issue." Washington Times, The (DC) (2010): 3. Regional Business News. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.
- "Gay rights groups ignore - Sarah Palin - GOProud hits back". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Holson, Laura. "Not Done Yet." The New York Times p1(LifeStyle) Oct. 10, 2010. Web. 5 Dec. 2011
- "Ann Coulter Loves the Gays? Inside a Surprising Culture War". Esquire. 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- Matt K. Lewis (2011-07-29). "GOProud and Birchers ousted as CPAC co-sponsors (David Horowitz survives vote)". Dailycaller.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Chris Geidner (2011-02-12). "Coulter Says "Gays Are Natural Conservatives" - To Cheers From CPAC Crowd". Metroweekly.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- "Guess Who's Coming to CPAC?: GOProud has taken the conservative and LGBT movements by storm by being brash, loud and uncompromisingly conservative - and just as uncompromisingly gay". Metroweekly.com. 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Advocate.com Editors. "GOProud Slams Pawlenty Over DADT". The Advocate. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Lavender, Paige (2011-09-23). "Rick Santorum Condemned By Gay Rights Group GOProud For DADT Debate Comments". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "Tony Fabrizio, Rick Perry's Top Pollster, Is Gay: GOProud Leader". Huffington Post. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "GOProud Outs Rick Perry Adviser After Antigay Ad". Newsy. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Chris Hayes, S.E. Cupp Walk On CPAC Over GOProud, Does It Matter?". lezgetreal. February 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "GOProud Leaders Stepping Aside For "Someone Else To Come In And Shake Things Up"". BuzzFeed. April 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "What we believe". Goproud.org. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "GOProud Backs Civil Marriage For Gay Couples". BuzzFeed. January 18, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "GOPROUD ON MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIP RECOGNITION". GOProud.org. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Ann Coulter Wants Thanks For Talking GOProud Out Of Supporting Gay Marriage". On Top Magazine. February 16, 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "I am excited to have this opportunity to... - Conversation with GOProud's Jimmy LaSalvia". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "GOProud Attends Anti-Abortion March | Regator - Curated Blog Search and Discovery". Regator. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- McGurn, William (2009-04-14). "William McGurn Says GOProud Is Asking Republicans to Return to Its Reaganite Roots - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- Amanda Hess (2010-11-20). "Jimmy LaSalvia on gay activism and the anti-abortion movement - Amanda Hess". TBD.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Guest Commentary on ENDA from Corinna Cohn". GOProud.org. April 28, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "GOProud’s Support of Thune Amendment in Advocate Story". GOProud.org. July 21, 2009. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Concealed Carry: If You're Interested in Preventing Hate Crimes, Let's Stop them Before They Happen". On Top Magazine. February 16, 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-18.