Jimmy LaSalvia, the executive director
of gay GOP group GOProud, up shifted his support for gay marriage on
Thursday, two days after President Barack Obama won a second term.
Wins for marriage equality in four
states on Tuesday backed up polling which had shown support rising
above 50 percent over the past 18 months.
GOProud was the first gay conservative
group to endorse the presidential ambitions of Mitt Romney, who is
opposed to recognizing gay and lesbian couples with either civil
unions or marriage.
In previous interviews, LaSalvia and
other GOProud members have downplayed gay rights,
in particular the right to marry.
During a CNN appearance, Piers Morgan
asked LaSalvia: “How can you really support a ticket which is so
resolutely opposed not just to gay marriage but to most gay rights?”
“Right. I know, but look, here's the
deal,” LaSalvia explained. “The answer is you gotta have a date
before you get married. Everyone knows you can't get a date without
a job. … Gay Americans are living in the Obama economy and that's
the reality that all voters are facing when they go into the voting
Despite keeping the issue at arms
length during the campaign, LaSalvia said in a The Wall Street
Journal interview that the issue was critical to the GOP if it
wants to attract new voters, in particular young people and women.
“Singer Kelly Clarkson, a single
woman who was asked while she was on her tour who she was voting for.
She said well I'm a Republican at heart but I'll probably vote for
Obama because I have a lot of gay friends. And so I think that
[marriage equality] is an issue that everyone is considering. And
especially because everyone has gay friends and family,” LaSalvia
said. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Clarkson backs Obama; doesn't like Mitt Romney's anti-gay marriage