GOProud Co-Founder Resigns Over CPAC Comprimise
A little over a month after GOProud co-founder Jimmy LaSalvia announced he was quitting the Republican Party, Chris Barron who founded the arch-conservative gay political organization with him in 2009, announced he was stepping down from the board, citing dissatisfaction with the organization’s current leadership who he says made an "unconditional surrender" to the American Conservative Union (ACU) to attend the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in March.
News of Barron’s departure came the day after it was announced that GOProud was invited to take part in CPAC after years of exclusion.
The National Journal reports that GOProud’s rift with the ACU (who present CPAC) goes back to 2011, when a number of conservative Christian groups that included the Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council declined to take part in the annual conference if GOProud attended.
This year Ross Hemminger and Matt Bechstein, two former GOProud summer interns who are now part of the organization’s new leadership reached a compromise with the ACU in which GOProud will attend CPAC next month as guests, but have no official presence.
While Hemminger and Bechstein see this as an important first step, Barron thought otherwise.
"Last night I resigned from the Board of GOProud, the organization that I co-founded back in April of 2009. I cannot in good conscience sit by and watch as the current leadership of the organization disingenuously pawns off an unconditional surrender to the forces of bigotry as some sort of ’compromise,’" Barron told BuzzFeed. "Nothing has changed in regards to GOProud and CPAC, GOProud does not have a booth, they are not a sponsor, they are not participating in any formal sense -- individual members can attend and that’s exactly the terms ACU dictated the previous few years."
Barron’s departure is the latest chapter in a string of stories that have rocked the foundation of GOProud.
In January, Jimmy LaSalvia who founded GOProud with Barron made headlines by announcing his departure from the Republican party citing his own dissatisfaction with what he called "the big-government ’conservatives’ who run the party now" and the "tolerance of bigotry within the GOP."
According to Wikipedia , Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris 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.