Thursday, January 16, 2014

GOProud Founder Quits Party, Slams Its Leaders Over 'Bigotry'

One of the founders of GOProud, a group for gay Republicans, quit the party on Tuesday. Jimmy LaSalvia had some parting shots for Speaker John Boehner and party chairman Reince Priebus over their "tolerance of bigotry."

"Reince Priebus, he talks a good game," LaSalvia says, "but he doesn't have the balls to do what it takes to actually change things."

After the election, the Republican National Committee that Priebus leads issued what's often called an "autopsy report" examining why the party lost the White House, didn't reclaim the Senate and bled seats in the House. The RNC seemed to recommend a return to "big tent" party ideals that LaSalvia and others hoped would include gays and lesbians. That hasn't happened, and it's partly Priebus to blame.

LaSalvia says the RNC hired specialists focusing on outreach to numerous demographics but openly admits why it can't do the same for LGBT voters. "In my conversations, they acknowledge they can't do it," LaSalvia said, "and they can't do it because of the backlash from the antigay forces in their party."

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