Jimmy LaSalvia, who in 2009 helped create gay GOP group GOProud, has renounced his Republican credentials.

“Today, I joined the ranks of the unaffiliated voter,” LaSalvia wrote on his personal blog. “I am every bit as conservative as I've always been, but I just can't bring myself to carry the Republican label any longer. You see, I just don't agree with the big-government 'conservatives' who run the party now.”

LaSalvia cited the Republican Party's “tolerance of bigotry” in announcing his departure.

“The current leadership lacks the courage to stand up to it,” he wrote. “I'm not sure they ever will.”

“I feel a huge sense of freedom,” he added. “I am an independent conservative. (That sounds much better than 'gay Republican.')”

After splintering off from Log Cabin Republicans, GOProud made headlines in 2010 with its co-sponsorship of CPAC, a three-day convention of conservatives held annually in February. Opposition to the group's participation led to its exclusion at CPAC 2012.