Thomas Roberts today interviewed GOProud co-founder and executive director Jimmy LaSalvia, who tells the MSNBC host, “I don’t think conservatives are any different than anyone else in America.” LaSalvia thinks the GOP is undergoing a transformation, despite most evidence to the contrary.
Roberts had to remind LaSalvia that every GOP candidate (with very few exceptions) does not support same-sex marriage. Roberts should have asked LaSalvia to comment on the recent outpourings of hate from the GOP, like these, which all happened in the past three weeks:
LaSalvia, who actually missed an opportunity to harshly attack the Left, as his GOProud partner generally does every chance he gets, did claim that President Obama was forced to take a stand for marriage by the left.
“Well, remember that President Obama was dragged kicking and screaming by his grassroots base to that position, and what’s happening in the conservative movement among grassroots conservatives is a shift in opinion and discussion on this,” LaSalvia said.
Perhaps he’s softening. Last year, LaSalvia said:
“That’s where we experience the most intolerance. The gay Left is, by far, the most intolerant toward us,” LaSalvia said on “The Brian Lehrer Show,” echoing his boilerplate rhetoric stump speech. “Us,” meaning, conservative gays.
Raw transcript via MSNBC:
>>> welcome back, everybody. the question of whether the legalization of marriage equality should be overturned in washington state is going public. opponents of same-sex marriage now backing initiative 74 as it’s called. gathered nearly 250,000 signatures to qualify it as a referendum on the november ballot. still, there’s a question of just how legit some of those signatures are. election officials say they are investigating approximately 1,000 that appear to be fraudulent. however, over the past year, leading democrats along with president obama have voiced support for marriage equality and other lgbt issues but support on the republican side, that’s also growing. the gop now has its own pro- marriage equality super pac so is this a game changer for the grand old party? timmy is executive director of go proud. as we talk about the new superpac, american unity pac launched by the hedge fund guy paul e. singer, a heavyweight for your party. does it mean conservatives are evolving, distancing themselves from pro-discrimination-type thinking when it comes to the lgbt community rethinking the stance on marriage equality? >> thanks for having me. i don’t think conservatives are any different than anyone else in america. in 2012 every person has a gay person in their life, friends and family. mr. singer has gay people in his family, we all have come to think about these issues in a very personal way, and so everyone in america is having this discussion and thinking about these things in a personal way, and many people, including many conservatives, are coming to the conclusion that supporting same-sex civil marriage is the right thing to do. >> jimmy, when you talk about conservatives not being different from other people in america, the gop contender is not for marriage equality, there are many who came out as well and the president demonstrated he’s pro- marriage equality so how do those two equate that you’re saying conservatives aren’t different when the person that most conservatives would like to elect to be president is against it? >> well, remember that president obama was dragged kicking and screaming by his grassroots base to that position, and what’s happening in the conservative movement among grassroots conservatives is a shift in opinion and discussion on this, and we’re seeing particularly among young conservatives, i don’t talk to any young people when i’m across the country talking to young people, almost all of them either support same-sex marriage or think like i do, that the state should decide it, and so it’s very much a generational thing. we know that politicians don’t always lead on difficult issues like this. so you know, i disagree with mitt romney on this issue. i think the states should decide marriage. i think that marriage is good for people and i think it’s a conservative position, and more and more of my fellow conservatives are joining me and others in that position. >> jimmy, is it an incentive like a superpac like the one singer created is that enough incentive to get the attention of someone like mitt romney and to go back to the way he used to feel about marriage equality when he was trying too beat teddy kennedy in massachusetts when he said he’d be to the left of him when he went back to the far fringes of the right? >> i don’t know, you’ll have to talk to mitt romney about that. it’s evidence of the way paul singer leads his life, he supports republicans because he knows conservative policies are good for the country and he supports gay issues because he knows that it’s good for gay people and his family, and so he loves his country and his family and that’s just evidence in that superpac, you know, what governor romney thinks about it, i don’t know, but it’s certainly good sign of progress that the conservative movement and republican party is having this same discussion that the rest of america is having. >> we’ll continue to watch it. go proud executive director jimmy lasalvia, thank you for your time.
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