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by
Bridget Johnson

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June 26, 2013 - 12:52 pm

The American Civil Liberties Union has hired the outgoing executive director of Republican gay-rights group GOProud to lead an effort to bring GOPs on the side of same-sex marriage.

Jimmy LaSalvia, the founder of GOProud, will work with the ACLU to do outreach to gay conservatives, “particularly within the Tea Party,” the ACLU said.

LaSalvia will be joining another ACLU hire in the $10 million nationwide campaign, Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) senior presidential campaign adviser Steve Schmidt.

Schmidt was formerly the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, campaign manager for the 2006 re-election of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush.

“Schmidt’s role will be to help spearhead the campaign to strike down state-based laws prohibiting same-sex marriage,” the ACLU said just after today’s Supreme Court ruling on DOMA and Prop. 8. “The campaign will, over the next four years, challenge legislative and constitutional provisions in states such as Illinois, Oregon, Hawaii, Montana, and others. The ACLU aims to spend roughly $10 million through 2016 and will officially announce the initiative with an ad in tomorrow’s edition of The Wall Street Journal.”

“The Republican party stands for freedom, for limited government intrusion in our personal lives and for freedom,” said Schmidt. “The issue of marriage equality is the Republican Party’s best chance to stand on the right side of history, create a meaningful legacy of fairness, and maintain relevance with young voters.”

Schmidt was part of the amicus brief against Prop. 8 submitted by 75 Republicans in February.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said “for a full civil liberties victory, we need broad-based support from coast to coast.”

“That’s why the ACLU is joining with Republican leaders to fight to end state-based limits on the freedom to marry,” Romero said.

LaSalvia wrote on his blog today that “as a constitutional conservative, I am pleased that the Supreme Court affirmed that marriage and family law is the purview of the states.”

“Now, the effort to pass marriage equality focuses on the states. Conservatives know that marriage is a good thing, and we should encourage, protect, and promote it for everyone – including gay people,” LaSalvia continued. “I am looking forward to making that case, state by state, to build consensus through the political process to legalize civil marriage for gay couples.”

GOProud began searching for LaSalvia’s replacement last month. He had served in that role for the past four years.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
It's not so much that they want the government to validate them -- they want the government to PUNISH anyone who expresses disapproval.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Says a lot for liberal ideology... and most gays are liberal. First, they wanted the government out of their bedrooms and lives. Now, they want government to validate their lifestyle. This alone convinces me that my government doesn't represent me. And, I'm real close to the point where the GOP doesn't represent me either.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is excellent news considering Schmidt's track record and such.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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And where will all of this "outreach" take place? In the men's room?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He already has the Libertarians in his corner, for they have a revulsion to anything that is remotely concerned with moral values. The Libertarian view is that as long as you allow me to keep my money and allow me to smoke dope, nothing else matters. Issues on homosexuality and marriage are distractions to them. Although the Tea Party is associated with Libertarianism, these people actually care about moral values.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Funny, I am a Libertarian. I don't have much money. I don't smoke pot, and I do have an opinion on homosexual marriage. Unlike the religious right I could care less what a man in sky has to say about it. My argument is and has always been a constitutional one. If same sex marriage is allowed on a national level it is only a matter of time before the lawsuits start to fly at churches that do not perform them. Since the first amendment protects the right to freely worship, and I am unaware of any clause in the constitution that protects same sex marriage, I find that abhorrent. Besides, all of the rights and privileges could have been gained twenty years ago with civil unions. It was done in Europe that way and it is a non issue there now. Don't worry though, I am sure that broad brush of yours makes you look very sensible in your everyday life.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As Liberachi would have said, that's just lovely.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And so, the mask comes off GOProud, and we see them for what they always were: a fifth column.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Steve Schmidt has already done more than enough damage to the Republican party, including his denigrating Rush, that he appears to back the democrats. GOProud would serve their cause better with someone else, probably for less money too.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Steve "Backstabber" Schmidt?

Yeah, that's a good choice for standard bearer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, instead of getting government out of the business of regulating and licensing marriage, we're going to make certain that gay people can be regulated and licensed the same as everyone else. More government control over the private lives of American citizens.

Yeah... We're all nuts.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Says a lot for liberal ideology... and most gays are liberal. First, they wanted the government out of their bedrooms and lives. Now, they want government to validate their lifestyle. This alone convinces me that my government doesn't represent me. And, I'm real close to the point where the GOP doesn't represent me either.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's not so much that they want the government to validate them -- they want the government to PUNISH anyone who expresses disapproval.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My suggestion to the Tea Party would be to stay out of the SSM debate. Stay focused on fiscal issues, economic freedom, and responsible government. At most they should say something like, "States have the power to designate the conditions of marriage within the state."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ah, but that's the rub. The Gay Left will not allow you to stay out of the debate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's taking a stand -- and it's NOT the stand the left will accept.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is excellent news considering Schmidt's track record and such.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
GOP Proud was never particularly interested in promoting Conservative principles and policy, but rather to promote homosexual agenda within Conservative institutions.

I despise the organization.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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