Are Gay Republican Groups Gaining Momentum?
Still, Anderson concedes that the momentum is against his preferred definition of marriage. “Yes, exit polls showed the youth vote went for redefining marriage,” he writes. “And we do not naively deny that there are strong cultural headwinds against marriage.” But he is convinced the destructive effects of same-sex marriage will lead to a reassessment of its benefits, to the advantage of the social conservatism wing. “If we are correct about the likely harms of redefining marriage, then even a season of nation-wide genderless marriage and its consequences would lead to a reassessment—just as the harms of divorce and non-marital childbearing led to the marriage movement of the 1980s and 90s.”
Like LCR, GOProud is hoping to increase its clout among conservatives. But there are strong obstacles. The organization was banned from sponsoring the important Conservative Political Action Conference in 2012. GOProud will not be attending this year, either. “The board will be approving our budget next year, and it doesn’t include funds for CPAC,” says LaSalvia. “I have no plans to attend the conference.” Still, “If they come to us to apologize and ask us to come back this year, then of course, we would consider it.”
Undoubtedly, the two most prominent pro-gay Republican groups have suffered from their refusal to play nice with each other. As with so many small movements, internecine warfare has been as damaging as ideological opponents. “Its nemesis and counterpart” is how GOProud has been described in opposition to the Log Cabin Republicans. LaSalvia founded his group because he felt LCR was too liberal. GOProud does not consider same-sex marriage a priority, and thinks lower taxes would be the most effective way to promote equality.
Nonetheless, there are signs of détente in the movement. “Yes, the organizations are different, but there are areas of common ground, and there will be areas of common ground going forward,” says LaSalvia.
Angelo agrees: “The Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud are fighting for similar goals; we’re not enemies.”