The board for the gay conservative group GOProud voted on Tuesday to endorse presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in his bid for the White House.
Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud, said the board decided to back the candidate despite misgivings members had about his candidacy — including anti-gay positions like his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment.
“We don’t agree with Gov. Romney on every single issue — indeed with disagree strongly with him on his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment and we have urged Romney publicly to take bolder and more conservative stances on tax reform, entitlement reform and spending,” LaSalvia said. “Given the vote on our board, obviously not everyone in our organization will agree with this endorsement, and we respect that.”
Among the reasons for the board’s endorsement of Romney was the candidate’s business experience and emphasis on free markets to energize the economy. LaSalvia had personally endorsed Romney during the primary.
According to a news statement, the decision to endorse Romney wasn’t unanimous. Two members of the board voted against the Romney endorsement
Chris Barron, a founding member of GOProud and board member of the organization, said he voted for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, but added he does “understand and respect” the decision to endorse Romney.
Jerame Davis, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, slammed GOProud for backing the Republican candidate.
“It takes a lot of chutzpah — and not a small amount of delusion — for a gay organization to find room to endorse a staunchly anti-LGBT candidate like Mitt Romney,” Davis said. “Not only has he gone on record repeatedly stating his anti-LGBT positions, he’s put his bigotry in writing. Last year, Romney signed the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-LGBT pledge that, among other things, calls for a federal constitutional amendment banning marriage equality in addition to McCarthy-style investigations of the LGBT community.