GOProud, Rick Perry, and Forcible Outing

There has been a bit of a brouhaha within conservative circles over the inadvertent outing of one of Rick Perry’s presidential campaign strategists by none other than GOProud, the gay conservative political organization.  The Perry campaign released a political ad several days ago knocking the repeal of DADT, and in responding to the content of the ad, GOProud apparently mentioned to the media that a particular Perry strategist was gay.  Since this strategist was closeted with regard to his sexual orientation, GOProud had effectively outed him.  Many conservatives were upset at what they saw as a despicable act by GOProud and that included the influential alternative media maven, Andrew Breitbart.

Mr. Breitbart, who was serving as an Advisory Board Member for GOProud, has resigned his post believing the outing to have been deliberate.

It is with sincere regret that I announce I must step down as a GOProud advisory member. On numerous occasions I have spoken with Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron of the significant impact the practice of “outing” had in my evolution from the political left to the right.  I was under the absolute impression that both agreed.  I have a zero tolerance attitude toward the intentional infliction of vocational and family harm by divulging the details of an individual’s sexual orientation as a weapon of political destruction. As an “Advisory Board member” I was not consulted on this extreme and punitive act. Clearly, there are more productive means to debate controversial ideas and settle conflicts. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience stand with GOProud. I still stand by gay conservatives who boldly and in the face of much criticism from many fronts fight for limited government, lower taxes, a strong national defense as well as the other core conservative principles.   Andrew Breitbart, Big Government

In responding to the controversy, Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director and Christopher Barron, Chairman of GOProud’s board, declared in a joint official statement that they oppose forcible outing and had assumed that the Perry strategist was open and out about his sexuality.  So on the face of the issue, it would appear as if this whole muddle was simply a sad mistake.  But GOProud does not apologize for the unintentional outing.  To the contrary.  After their initial opening remarks pleading ignorance, GOProud holds forth with a forceful condemnation of the strategist, coupled with a blast at Rick Perry himself.

From the time this organization was founded we have been clear in our opposition to outing. We would never intentionally out anyone.  However, in the case of ******, top pollster and chief strategist for the Presidential campaign of Texas Governor Rick Perry, we did not believe there was any question about his sexual orientation – nor did the reporters who called us to ask about his involvement in Perry’s anti-gay campaign strategy.  Questions about an individual’s sexual orientation should obviously be answered by that individual.

Let us be crystal clear, however, ****** is not the victim here. (He) has lined his pockets for years with money from gay groups and is now one of the chief architects of a campaign strategy – not just an isolated television ad – intended to demonize gay people in order to score political points.  (He) claims he opposed the latest anti-gay Perry television ad.  If (he) really does oppose the ad and the broader strategy then the honorable and decent thing to do would be to resign from the campaign. (He) is no junior staffer he is one of the top campaign pollsters and strategists in the country.

It is obvious that the campaign of Rick Perry is desperate, and in a desperate last ditch effort to become relevant in the GOP Presidential race he and his campaign have decided to employ a strategy that plays to the cheap seats and appeals to the worst in people. Rick Perry should be embarrassed and the people around him who are the architects of this strategy, particularly people like ****** should be ashamed.  GOProud

I think if GOProud wanted to be believed concerning this episode then it would have been best to simply proffer an apology and forgo the damning analysis of the character of the strategist and the political motives of Rick Perry.  Even in their official statement, GOProud continued to out the guy, mentioning his name no less than seven times.  So in essence, GOProud has said, oops, we made a mistake in outing this man, but what the heck, he deserved it.  And isn’t that the same rationale used by the homo hoods on the Left?

Here is the Perry ad that takes a cheap shot at gays and lesbians openly serving our country in the military.  Rick, baby, I really wanted to like you, but you’ve made it so so hard.

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21 Responses to GOProud, Rick Perry, and Forcible Outing

  1. Mike says:

    The perry commercial did not change anything for me, he is just not someone I trust, simple as that. Worked for a Commanding officer that had a simple rule stg8 or gay, who would you want in battle with you, made a heck of a lot of sense if you were getting shot at/or a fire on ship.
    On a side note I remember when women first started showing up on ships and doing other jobs than yeomen. I heard all the just about same mess I am hearing now with gays serving openenly
    1. They can’t do the same jobs as men, ( bit time myth)
    2. Wifes of sailors did not want their hubs around other women ( use to laugh at that one, quess trust was issuie for the hubs and wifes lol )
    3. They can’t fight, like men ( they were right about that, but not in the way those guys were thinking)
    20 plus yrs later Women are in every jobs the military has, there will be growing pains as more americans are able to serve without threats, in the end the men and women that have been serving for 200 yrs plus will be able stand a bit taller in the light and we will be a better for it.
    Hope this makes sense, only had 2 cups of coffee this morning before i wrote.

  2. Lori Heine says:

    Meredith, you’ve got a point. If the staffer disapproved of Perry’s actions, perhaps he should have resigned.

    This is one of those instances in which I can see more than one side. The only side I cannot see is Perry’s. He must really think people are stupid. Even when asked to explain what he really meant in the ad, he comes out with baby-talk and blather. Dog-whistles for dopes.

    Even a few of my straight conservative friends were offended by what he said in the ad. It didn’t make any sense to them, either. Of course their I.Q.’s are each probably 80 points over the average Perry was aiming for.

    • I tried to rationalize it and make sense of it for about 5 minutes. Then I realized that it didn’t matter because I hadn’t like Perry before the commercial anyway, so it didn’t change my opinion much, lol

  3. Lori Heine says:

    Let me edit that. I meant “disapprove of the REPEAL of DADT and you’re John Wayne.”

    Disapproving of DADT merely indicates a disapproval of lying as a policy not only sanctioned by the State, but forced.

  4. Lori Heine says:

    I don’t think there’s anything ignoble about working for a candidate one believes in. Though I personally can’t understand why the guy would stay with anybody who panders shamelessly to bigots.

    My problem with those who can relate to this crapola commercial is this: How many of them have actually bothered to serve in the military themselves? That Perry himself has hardly gives him the right to piss on others who serve simply because they happen to be gay. And many of those who respond to bigoted dog-whistles like the ones in that ad have NEVER served.

    I guess it doesn’t take much to be a man these days. Stay home while others lay their lives on the line, but disapprove of DADT and you’re John Wayne. Pathetic.

    • My point is that the strategist said he disapproved of the commercial and, I’ve heard from some, that he disapproves of the current campaign strategies. If that is the case then how can he believe in the candidate if he disapproves of Perry’s actions in the campaign?

  5. I don’t know, I found the reaction just about right. They shouldn’t apologize for doing something that, at the time they didn’t know was an issue. The reporters that called them, and apparently acted as if his sexuality was a known quantity, should apologize.

    On the other hand, they admit that they still don’t like the guy. Which is true and I don’t like him either, but that has to do with him being gay. Just as GOProud said, if he disapproves of the ad that was made and disapproves of the way the campaign is being run, then he should quit the campaign. Not doing so, but still claiming disapproval, is hypocritical and inconsistent.

    And if there is one (two?) things I can’t stand, it is hypocrisy and inconsistency.

    At least GOProud remained consistent in there view that the guy is, pardon the language, an asshole for working for Perry and continuing on this path despite his opposition of the ad and the campaign strategy. Even if they did make a mistake (they are only human) by outing him.

    I personally didn’t find the statement to be vindictive. Maybe a bit harsh, but it was accurate. Truth hurts sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t say it.

    • That does NOT have to do with him being gay.* Whoops…

    • Actually, I think there were some teasing tweets from Mr. LaSalvia and Mr. Barron that pushed the gay orientation of the Perry strategist. So maybe there is more to this drama than it seems.

      I think it’s to the guy’s credit that he disapproved of the ad and said so, and it was that storyline which the media was pursuing. Is he hypocritical for remaining with the Perry campaign despite disagreeing with one its ads? That’s an interesting topic for debate.

    • SCR says:

      @meredithancret, be careful of what you say you value because in this case, as you’ve laid it out, “consistency” may be dangerous. If one is consistently wrong, will that make one right (for at least having been consistent)?

      This “outing” was no “mistake.” That is a lie. It was intentional…and clearly motivated out of vindictiveness. (The justification in the public statement was pathetic). The least we can do is be honest with ourselves about it. Then forgiveness and learning can happen, but not by pretending something was merely an inadvertent mistake with no harm intended. Good grief.

      What business is it of anyone’s to question this man’s integrity for working for Perry? His motivations, like his sexual orientation, for staying with the Perry campaign have not been shared publically. It is none of our business – and it certainly does NOT make him a hypocrite. The next time your boss or organization says or does something with which you cannot wholly agree, will you quit?

      Freedom, a transcendent value embraced by “conservatives”, comes with responsibility. Responsibility requires honoring our integrity. I would look there before I looked to an a blind allegiance in the name of “consistency” or being quick to call some one else a hypocrite. It’s an even easier card to play than the destructive “race” one, and equally cowardly too. It’s the devil that lurks in identity politics.

      I think LaSalvia’s reaction was thoughtless, and my hope is that we are all a little more thoughtful moving forward.

      • Consistency in ethics is what I was referring to. If the strategist disapproves of the way the campaign is going and he has no recourse to change that, which doesn’t seem likely with Perry at the reigns, then, yes, he should distance himself from the campaign. If he decides to continue working for someone that he has ethical problems with, then that is just sad.

        As for your question to me. Yes, if I was working for a company that did something that violated my personal ethics and I could not get them to stop that action and if leaving would not damage myself or my family in someway, I would leave. This strategist is one of the most well known and sought after in political campaigns. I honestly don’t believe he would have trouble finding another job if he quite over an ethical issue.

        In this case, and in the case of my own hypothetical situation, integrity is one of the biggest things to weigh. It hangs in the balance. If you choose to continue doing something you find is morally distasteful because of money, then you are damaging your integrity. Simple as that.

        And how do you know it was deliberate? Do you have some inner track of knowledge that we do not have here? Until more evidence comes to light I am going to take a group that I, personally, hold in fairly high esteem at there word. I know journalists and reporters, not to mention spending some time in journalism school, they would not hesitate to do something like this. They were (as I said in my article about this at QueerLandia.com) “outing by proxy” to take the heat off them.

  6. Lori Heine says:

    GOProud needs to fire LaSalvia and anybody else in the organization whose hands are dirty in this matter. We can’t keep leaving gay conservative organizations in a huff every time something like this happens. It’s major purge-time, and it should indeed be brutal. But we disempower ourselves as gay conservatives when we toss the baby out with the bathwater every time.

    Some perspective here. We learned a lot of really bad habits from the Left. That appears to have been the problem of the folks responsible for the current mess. They need to be taken to school, and it’s conservative gays who need to do the schooling. It’s a$$-whuppin’ time — but not time to pull out. GOProud is as necessary as it ever was.

    Almost makes me wonder who wrote the playbook. Not any real friend of ours, that’s for sure.

    • Agreed, Lori. And GOProud will have some fences to mend. And maybe adding some new blood to their organization would be a positive move. As one of our other posters has noted, their formal statement was full of vindictiveness and formal statements are usually issued only after lots of review and consideration. I think that shows their organization is indeed in need of a fresh approach.

  7. SCR says:

    @Perry Palmer and Lesbianoutsider, Well said! GOProud reacted in such a nasty and immature manner that they’ve lost huge credibility, and a great voice of support in Breitbart. But Andrew B. did what any man of character would have to do in this situation. GOProud’s righteous justification for their pitiful and cowardly act of visiciously “outing” another hard-working conservative is horribly destructive on all fronts. We ALL lose thanks to your lack of real leadership, LaSalvia. Hope you learn something and find your inner sense of Self soon before you carry out more of your adolescent vindictiveness.

    • You said it, SCR–we all lose. I think GOProud was trying to have it both ways–denying they intentionally outed the guy at the same time ripping the hell out of him by name.

      Gay conservatives come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of slants to their conservative viewpoints. We need to learn to disagree while never losing respect for each other. Our political opponents are on the Left–let’s keep our focus where it belongs.

  8. Perry Palmer says:

    When I was an eight-year old girl, I knew I was different from not only my twin sister, but from all my female classmates. I had no idea I was gay. I was terrified at the prospects of knowing that there were no boys I could like. Now I’m 65. I look back at when I came out at 21 years old and the gay life I lead. We had our own secret society and language. Gays were so kind to one another because we were a real family. I hate the way things are now. This outing of gays and gays kissing and flaunting themselves is too much. I don’t like to see anyone, heterosexuals, included, kissing and carrying on. I like class and sophistication. There is none of that anymore to be sure.

    I don’t know if it’s anger or “misery loves company” that the self-righteous gays have caused such an upheaval in our existence that they need to blab other’s private lives. Do they just gloat with satisfaction that they’ve caused pain?

    How are they any different from straight people going after gays? They are becoming the Gay Gestapo and they must be proud. This is why I lay low and don’t use my real name on any blog.

    • Well said, Perry. We used to be a genuinely supportive lesbian/gay community but not anymore. We’re now dominated by Left-wing not-for-profits who are shoving their political views down the rest of our throats. And the excuse for the emotional raping of other gays and lesbians, aka outing, is always ‘the cause’. The great gay cause. When in reality, it’s always been about power–forcibly taking power over someone else’s life, in effect raping them. The Perez Hiltons of the gay world are the epitome of the stereotypic nasty aging queens seeking attention and status through emotional violence.

      The fact that GOProud has indirectly taken part in such a low down tactic is very disheartening. Their public statement did not help their case.

      And I’m with you….I hate the way things are now.

    • very opinionated says:

      Perry i feel the same way as you do. I am a 25 year old female who is still in the closet because of our society today!! I can’t stand how gays and lesbians flaunt themselves and try to force others to come out as well when closeted gays/lesbian preferrs not to.

  9. Sharon says:

    I don’t know with whom I am more disappointed here; GoProud gets on my nerves and Perry will still be Govey on election day. So. . .

    • The fact that Perry chose DADT to dump on was dumb. Opposition to gay marriage would have put him in the same league as Obama but DADT? The majority of Americans support the repeal. The ad was simply bad strategy on Perry’s part.

      And GOProud–they should have just said the outing was unintentional and left it at that. Their public statement only made them look self-righteous and nasty.

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