Citing dissatisfaction with big-government conservatives and bigots within the Republican Party, Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder of arch-conservative Republican gay organization GOProud, announced that he has changed his voter registration to independent.
LaSalvia’s announcement that he left the Republican party was made on his blog on Monday.
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."
So, now I feel huge sense of freedom. I am an independent conservative. (That sounds much better than ’gay Republican.’)
Following his announcement, LaSalvia continued to criticize the GOP on his Twitter feed saying:
It’s time to focus my energy to help make our country better instead of trying to fix a dysfunction political party whose days are numbered.
Honestly, the @GOP should ask themselves, ’How bad must it be if we’ve even lost Jimmy?"
Who knew? There is a whole secret (and big) group on Facebook of former Republicans. They just added me!
Although LaSalvia has left the Republican Party, he hasn’t left his position with GOProud, according tweets made by organization’s Twitter Tuesday.
The tweets read:
There’s no exchange, the current @GOPROUD leadership respects and appreciates the orgs founders, even when they misinterpret posts
@Ga_Libertarian, @JimmyLaSalvia has not left GOProud. He merely became a registered independent, like many of our members.
According to the Miami Herald, this is not the first time LaSalvia has expressed dissatisfaction with the GOP. In 2012, he made headlines when GOProud was excluded from attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
"There were folks... that wanted us barred from CPAC simply because we’re gay." LaSalvia told CNN in 2012. "And they took advantage of the leadership change at the organization and were successful in keeping us out this year."
According to Wikipedia , 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.
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