By Ryan Collett
GOProud, a conservative LGBT organization, became the first gay group to endorse Mitt Romney and his presidential bid. The organization’s co-founder, Jimmy LaSalvia said that Romney, “Has demonstrated that he believes that we are a part of America.”
On its website, GOProud touts itself as an organization of, “Gay and straight Americans seeking to promote freedom by supporting free markets, limited government and a respect for individual rights.”
In his defense of the GOProud’s endorsement, LaSalvia said that the democratic focus on LGBT rights is merely a distraction from what he sees as more important issues – like the failing economy.
In a statement released last week, LaSalvia called President Barack Obama, “Openly hostile to free-market capitalism. The truth is that gay people are living in the disastrous failed Obama economy too.”
The GOProud endorsement comes at a time when Romney has been repeatedly criticized for his lack of support for gay rights. Earlier this year, Romney’s newly-hired and openly gay foreign policy aid resigned in a move that sparked considerable media controversy.
Other gay conservative groups, like the Log Cabin Republicans, have yet to make any public endorsements for Romney.