Gay GOPers plan convention events

GOProud’s Homocon on Tuesday is the “must-have ticket” at the Republican National Convention that’s taking place in Tampa this weekend. The dance party takes place at the Honey Pot, a club in Tampa’s Ybor City gayborhood.

Among the expected guests at homocon are CNN’s Mary Matalin and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. From the Romney campaign, National Coalitions Director Joshua Baca is expected.

And from Dallas, Rudy Oeftering, vice president of Metroplex Republicans, said he plans to arrived in Tampa at midday Tuesday and attend the invitation-only event. Oeftering is the only openly gay Republican from North Texas we’re aware of who’s going to Tampa.

Rain from tropical storm Isaac was expected to end in Tampa by late tonight, and the storm was expected to become a hurricane before making landfall somewhere between Mississippi and New Orleans on Tuesday.

Log Cabin Republicans held a welcome reception for the convention on Sunday evening. At Log Cabin headquarters in Washington, D.C. they weren’t sure whether today’s 3 p.m. reception with the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund featuring former Rep. Jim Kolbe would be cancelled due to weather.

Events scheduled for later in the week are expected to go on as planned.

Log Cabin and Freedom to Marry are planning a 10 a.m. brunch on Wednesday with CNN contributor Margaret Hoover and Institute for Liberty President Andrew Langer.

On Thursday, an event supporting the LCR PAC’s work for pro-equality Republicans takes place at 4 p.m. Congressional Republicans expected to attend include Rep. Bob Dold (Ill.), Rep. Judy Biggert (Ill.) and Rep. Mary Bono Mack (Cal.)

After the jump is a video featuring Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego, speaking about his support for marriage equality and encouraging others in his party to do the same. Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry are running the ad in Tampa during the convention.

—  David Taffet

Metroplex Republicans to join GOProud

Schlein.Rob

Rob Schlein

Metroplex Republicans of Dallas, which split off from Log Cabin Republicans amid controversy last year, has announced plans to affiliate with another national gay conservative group, GOProud. GOProud bills itself as “a national organization of gay and straight Americans who seek to promote freedom by supporting free markets, limited government, and a respect for individual rights.”

Rob Schlein, then president of Dallas’ Log Cabin chapter, invited two GOProud leaders to speak at a fundraiser in October. Schlein’s invitation, along with other factors including an op-ed he wrote saying he would support Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president over Barack Obama, prompted National Log Cabin Republicans to de-charter the Dallas chapter. Since then, the chapter has been rechartered under the leadership of Thomas Purdy, giving Dallas two gay Republican groups.

On Wednesday, Schlein sent over a press release announcing Metroplex Republicans’ plans to affiliate with GOProud. From the press release:

“Metroplex Republicans is one of the strongest and most influential local gay conservative groups in the country,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud executive director. “We are lucky to add them to the GOProud family.

“For years, Metroplex Republicans have been an incredibly important and influential player on the Texas political scene. They have built an impressive grassroots organization with long-standing and impressive political ties to the state and local Republican leadership,” continued LaSalvia.

“We are pleased to be able to announce our intention to affiliate with GOProud,” said Rob Schlein, President of Metroplex Republicans. “We have been admirers of the great work GOProud has done since their founding in 2009. In just three short years, GOProud has established itself as the leading voice nationally for gay conservatives. They have built bridges in the conservative movement, thought outside the box, and fundamentally transformed how the world thinks about gay conservatives. We are thrilled at the opportunity to join the GOProud family.”

“GOProud has been incredibly selective in addingaffiliates. We want only the absolute best to represent the GOProud brand on the state and local level – without question, Metroplex Republicans fits that bill,” concluded LaSalvia.

In related news, U.S. Senate candidate Lela Pittinger will be Metroplex Republicans’ featured speaker  at its monthly meeting next week. “Please do us proud by showing Lela a Texas-Sized ‘Metroplex’ crowd on Monday,” the group wrote in an email.

In February, Pittinger signaled during a debate that she’d be willing to meet with gay Republican groups, comparing it it to Jesus eating dinner with “sinners.” However, Pittinger also criticized former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert for appearing at gay Pride, saying, “Now while he [Jesus] ate dinner with them [sinners], I don’t believe he marched along with them as they were going down to have an orgy or have any sort of drunken revelries.”

—  John Wright

New Log Cabin chapter kicks off tonight

Vice President Lisa DeWitt, from left, Treasurer Van Freeman and President Thomas Purdy are among the board members for the new Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans. (JOHN WRIGHT/Dallas Voice)

Three-and-a half months after National Log Cabin Republicans de-chartered the group’s previous Dallas chapter, the newly rechartered LCR affiliate will host a kickoff party tonight at Texas Land & Cattle on Lemmon Avenue in Uptown.

National Log Cabin Republicans booted the old chapter — and its President Rob Schlein — in October for engaging “in a consistent pattern of behavior that detracts from the mission of our organization.” Schlein had invited two leaders from GOProud, a competing national gay Republican group, to speak at the chapter’s annual dinner. He had also written an unsanctioned column published by Dallas Voice saying he would support Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president if Perry became the Republican nominee.

After the chapter was de-chartered by national, Schlein formed Metroplex Republicans of Dallas, which remains active. National Log Cabin, meanwhile, rechartered the Dallas chapter and installed 33-year-old Thomas Purdy as president. Purdy had been on the board of the old group.

“I just felt like it was important that the chapter and the brand continue in Dallas,” Purdy told Dallas Voice recently. “If I didn’t step in, I don’t know who would have. I feel like staying with Log Cabin I’m in a better position to affect change both on a local and national level.”

—  John Wright

GOProud leaders to speak at Log Cabin dinner

Jimmy LaSalvia, left, and Chris Barron

The Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans has booked two leaders from GOProud — a competing gay Republican group — to speak at the chapter’s annual dinner in November.

According to an invitation from LCR Dallas, GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia and Board Chairman Chris Barron will headline the 15th annual Grand Ol’ Party at the Hilton Anatole on Nov. 5.

“I’m pleased to report that Jimmy and Chris have agreed to fly from Washington DC to join us in Dallas for the Grand Ol’ Party,” LCR Dallas President Rob Schlein wrote atop an email invitation to the dinner. “They have an interesting history with Log Cabin Republicans and can tell you about their journey in founding a new organization.”

The invitation goes on to say: “Jimmy and Chris were both former employees at the national organization and co-founded GOProud. They have made national attention and have shown an ability to attract substantial ‘whose who’ in our world of politics to their advisory board. Help us welcome both Jimmy and Chris!”

Schlein told Instant Tea that although the two organizations might be considered competitors on a national level, he is friends with LaSalvia and Barron and maintains regular contact with them. Unlike Log Cabin, GOProud doesn’t have local chapters.

The dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at Nana Restaurant in the Anatole. For more info or to RSVP, go here.

—  John Wright

GOProud taps Coulter for advisory board

Is THIS the Queen of Fabulous?

I firmly believe that for the LGBT equality to make true and lasting progress, we need activists and allies in both the major political parties. Though I don’t always agree with the political viewpoints of the LGBT Republicans I know, I do think their presence and their efforts are vital to our community’s progress.

But hooking up with and/or supporting anti-gay politicians and pundits, I think, takes more than one giant step in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, that’s just what the LGBT Republican group GOProud has done by naming wing-nut Ann Coulter as honorary chair of the organization’s advisory board. Her “official title,” according to this GOProud press release, is “honorary chair and gay icon.”

GOProud board chair Christopher Barron said in the press release: ““Ann Coulter is a brilliant and fearless leader of the conservative movement. We are honored to have her as part of GOProud’s leadership. Ann helped put our organization on the map. Politics is full of the meek, the compromising and the apologists – Ann, like GOProud, is the exact opposite of all of those things. We need more Ann Coulters.”

Coulter said: “I am honored to serve in this capacity on GOProud’s Advisory Council, and look forward to being the Queen of fabulous.”

—  admin

Memo to CPAC: Gay Conservatives Were Around Long Before GOProud

Equality Matters has a history lesson for all those hysterical conservatives at CPAC who think being gay and a conservative is something new under the sun. Twenty four gay conservatives are featured:

A number of prominent conservatives and right-wing groups are boycotting this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference because GOProud — a group that describes itself as representing gay conservatives and their allies – is listed as a participating organization. These boycotters are in serious need of a history lesson: The conservative movement has included several prominent gay members, as well as conservatives who found themselves embroiled in gay scandals, long before GOProud joined CPAC. In light of this, Equality Matters takes a look at some of these conservatives. Their stories vary wildly: some championed LGBT equality; others attempted to avoid discussions of their sexual orientation altogether; and some chose to add their voices to the chorus of anti-gay bigotry on the right.

Maybe CPAC chairman, Al Cardenes, should familiarize himself with the list? I don’t know how anyone can be conservative and gay, but I respect their tenacity and value the ones who don’t compromise but are willing to fight within the belly of the beast.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

How Come Nobody Is Thanking Ann Coulter For Getting GOProud To Ditch Gay Marriage Support?

We all know Ann Coulter has taken credit for convincing GOProud to lose an notion of a pro-marriage equality stance. "You're welcome America," she said on Hannity last night. But just like every other demographic she latches on to, Coulter is using gays as pawns in her war against liberals, who she continues to insist are obsessed with nothing but "destroy the family so that you have one loyalty, and that is to the state." See, "liberals don't care about blacks, they don't care about women, they don't care about gays." But hey, at least she didn't reserve the vitriol for the right: "Republican primary voters for some reason refuse to do any research before voting. They vote for the name of anyone they've ever heard before."

CONTINUED »


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—  David Taffet

Sarah Palin’s Favorite Tweeter Tammy Bruce Quits GOProud

Tammy Bruce announced her resignation from the board of GOProud yesterday on her blog, which is significant because you can probably name only three conservative lesbians without first checking Google. Saying little besides she wishes Jimmy LaSalvia and Christopher Barron "well," Bruce leaves behind a sea she's held for a whopping nine months. I assume she plans to spend more time with her family, and then continuing her career of completely contradicting herself. She's nothing if consistently inconsistent.


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—  David Taffet

GOProud Member: ‘I Don’t Really Like Gay People’

Hissey
Ebone Bell of Metro Weekly made the rounds at a recent nighttime GOProud event at the CPAC conference where she interviewed members of the conservative group, such as 22-year-old college student Matt Hissey. Aside from declaring his dislike for gay people, Hissey believes that only "straight-acting" gay men are "normal."

"I don't really like gay people that much. Gay people frustrate me, the stereotypical gay people, it frustrates me…someone who puts on a total act. I understand that some guys are feminine, which is fine. But some guys, at some point, are normal, straight-acting, whatever and the next minute they're jumping up and down. It just frustrates me. The whole conservative thing is just be yourself, be an individual and just don't be someone you're not. If someone does or does not accept you, that's fine but don't change who you are to look different to others."

Hissey also wants Sarah Palin to run for president in 2012 because she reminds him of his mom.

His bit about not liking gay people comes in at 1:39 in the video AFTER THE JUMP.


Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

Tammy Bruce Quits GOProud

Today openly lesbian right-wing radio host Tammy Bruce announced her resignation from GOProud’s board of directors. This move comes after widespread wingnut condemnation of GOProud chairman Chris Barron for calling high-profile anti-gay activist Cleta Mitchell a “bigot” in an interview with Metro Weekly. From Bruce’s website:

I want to let you know that after being a supporter and serving as Chair of the Advisory Board since May of 2010, I gave Chris Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia my resignation Saturday night. If you search GOProud here at the blog you’ll see the affection with which I’ve held both Chris and Jimmy, and I wish them well. As Independent Conservatives and Tea Party patriots, we have a lot of work to do in the next two years taking our great nation back, and I do look forward to continuing to work with conservatives across the spectrum on the issues with which we all have in common.

Barron’s comments will also likely mean that GOProud will not be allowed to attend CPAC 2012, as the newly named head of the convention has taken particular offense.

The new chair of the American Conservative Union, Al Cardenas, today distanced his organization from GOProud, telling FrumForum in an exclusive interview that “it’s going to be difficult to continue the relationship” with the gay conservative organization. Cardenas, who was selected yesterday to replace outgoing chairman David Keene, told FrumForum that he disapproved of GOProud’s response to the furor. “I have been disappointed with their website and their quotes in the media, taunting organizations that are respected in our movement and part of our movement, and that’s not acceptable. And that puts them in a difficult light in terms of how I view things,” said Cardenas.

Today’s lesson: If you call a bigot a bigot, you don’t get to play with bigots. Seems fair enough.

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet