Gay GOP group GOProud on Friday
announced it now supports marriage rights for gay and lesbian
“We support same-sex marriage, civil
marriage,” GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia told
Since its inception in 2009, the group
has maintained that it has no position on marriage equality because
it is not a federal issue. However, it has said that it opposes the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevents federal agencies from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay couples.
The move toward civil marriage comes
after the group's decision to become active at the state level.
“Since we'll be forming groups in the
states, that makes [it] necessary that we take positions on state
issues,” LaSalvia said. “And so, for the first time, we felt it
necessary to articulate our position on marriage and relationship
recognition for gay people. We hadn't had to do that before because
we only worked on federal issues, and marriage has always been an
issue dealt with [by] the states.”
The group said it supports efforts to
legalize such unions in Illinois, Minnesota and Rhode Island.
“Where it is is being considered and
where it is possible, we support it and we're going to be there,”
The group's official position is that
it does not support gains through court rulings.
“We believe that the decision about
how to best do this is one that should be made at the state level and
that these decisions are best made by the people directly or through
their elected representatives – not by unelected judges.”
GOProud was the first group of gay
Republican to endorse Mitt Romney for president.
In an appearance on CNN's Piers
Morgan Tonight, LaSalvia was asked, “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