Fox News Hosts GOProud To Gloss Over Romney’s Anti-Gay Record
August 16, 2012 9:48 am ET by Carlos Maza
Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of the gay conservative group GOProud, appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to explain why his organization has decided to endorse Mitt Romney for president despite the former governor’s lack of support for LGBT equality. Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson described GOProud as a “prominent gay rights group”, failing to note that the organization has a history of abandoning LGBT causes in order to promote right-wing extremism.
As Fox’s chyron displayed the text “pride before politics,” GOProud’s LaSalvia explained that his endorsement was motivated by mainly by concerns about the economy:
LASALVIA: The same issues that affect gay Americans affect everyone else. And, you know, we’re looking for jobs. We’re trying to figure out how to educate our children and prepare for retirement. I mean retirement security is a big issue in the gay community. So when you look at all those things, we came down to the decision to be the only gay organization to endorse Romney and Ryan looking at their vision for the future.
CARLSON: See I just find it interesting because I think that a lot of people think that it’s a foregone conclusion that certain groups in society, you know gays or people who are into green energy, for example, that they would just automatically vote on the Democratic side.
Depicting GOProud as a “prominent gay rights group” is misleading, to say the least.
The group opposes federal anti-bullying and hate crimes legislation. In addition, it’s 2011 legislative agenda didn’t include support for employment non-discrimination legislation or support for marriage equality. During the GOP primary, GOProud even expressed willingness to support Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) – one of the most anti-gay candidates in the race. Though it claims to be interested in representing gay conservatives, advancing LGBT equality seems to be a very low priority for the organization.
As Box Turtle Bulletin’s Timothy Kincaid wrote last year:
GOProud is a rightwing political organization masquerading as a gay group. Yes, there are gay members – at least three – but their goals, intentions, and actions reveal them to be interested in gay issues only in the context of how they can be spun for partisan advantage.
Even GOProud’s decision to endorse Romney – who opposes extending even basic legal protections to LGBT people – seems to have been largely driven by the straight members of the organization’s Board of Directors.
GOProud may identify itself as a representative of the gay community, but in reality its endorsement says little about how gay Americans – Republican or Democrat – feel about the 2012 election.