Ann Coulter with Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of the gay rights group GOProud.
The major controversy at both the 2010 and 2011 Conservative Political Action Conferences (CPAC) was the participation of GOProud as a co-sponsor. Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, and Cleta Mitchell, Chairman of the ACU Foundation, boycotted CPAC because of the invitation. Phyllis Schalfly joined other conservatives in a protest letter and Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, said “The agenda of GOProud is fundamentally incompatible with virtually all social conservatives, so this isn’t diversity, it’s discord.”
On the other side, Ann Coulter and Grover Norquist strongly supported the gay group, and Sarah Palin refused to join the protest by noting she is open to groups presenting differing opinions and “the more information that people have, the better.” GOProud was not invited to CPAC 2012 but they are clearly well to the right of the Log Cabin Republicans which use to be the only Republican gay rights group.
Mitt Romney opposes gay marriage and civil unions, as well as the federal employment nondiscrimination act, but has the GOProud endorsement. All of the themes at its recent “GOP Unity” event were conservative, and they said Romney was endorsed because the economy and job creation are key gay issues. Metro Weekly covered the event:
As GOProud continues to declare themselves the only gay conservative group to endorse Romney for president, speculation continues to swirl around whether Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) will endorse the GOP nominee. Since the group’s founding in 1977, only twice have they withheld their endorsement for the Republican presidential nominee. In 1992, LCR did not endorse George H. W. Bush, citing anti-gay rhetoric at the Republican National Convention. In 2004 LCR did not endorse George W. Bush because of his support for a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. . . Jimmy LaSalvia, who previously worked for LCR but left citing a leftward drift by the organization, would not speculate on LCR’s delay, but stressed the need for unity. “It’s going to take everybody to help Mitt Romney win and that’s what we’re focused on,” LaSalvia told Metro Weekly.