The executive director of conservative LGBT group GOProud told The Raw Story on Saturday that MSNBC host Chris Hayes had contacted the group before calling for their inclusion in a leading conservative conference, but that the situation had not changed.
“We don’t have a lot in common with him politically, but we certainly appreciated him doing the right thing here,” Jimmy LaSalvia said, adding that Hayes had contacted the group’s co-founder and chief strategist, Chris Barron, before calling for GOProud to be included in the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
On his show Saturday, Hayes said he had been asked to appear on a panel at CPAC alongside former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, but contacted the organization asking if GOProud was still banned from the conference.
“If it isn’t, then I’m psyched to go,” Hayes said. “If it is, then I’ll wait until it changes, which is really just a matter of time”
Lasalvia said GOProud, which co-sponored the 2011 conference, had not been in contact with organizers at the American Conservative Union (ACU) since being kicked out.
“We got a letter from them a year and a half ago, before the last CPAC, telling us we would not be invited to participate in a formal way [in 2012],” Lasalvia said. “That’s the last we’ve heard from them. If something has changed, it would be news to us.”
Lasalvia said his group being forced out as a CPAC co-sponsor was instigated by members of the ACU board who took advantage of a leadership change, a move that has drawn scrutiny from people besides Hayes.
“The agenda came out, and we weren’t a part of it, and the grassroots in the conservative movement began questioning why,” he said. “It seems like a strange thing to not include GOProud when we’re trying to bring conservatives together to build a new, modern winning coalition, especially after the last couple of elections.”
[Image via GOProud YouTube]