This morning, the conservative LGBT group GOProud released their entirely expected endorsement of GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney (R-MA). Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia stated as part of their endorsement, “The truth is that gay people are living in the disastrous failed Obama economy too,” and cited Obama’s economic record as the reason for the group’s endorsement.
Sex advice columnist, provocateur and the brains behind the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying project Dan Savage took immediate exception to the groups endorsement, Tweeting, “The GOP’s house faggots grab their ankles, right on cue: [link] …. Pathetic.”
While the co-founders of GOProud are by now used to taking heat from more liberal-minded members of the LGBT community, it’s rare that anyone as prominent as Savage has hurled insults like that. Co-founder and current chief strategist Chris Barron, who ended his term as board chair last December amidst a minor scandal involving the outing of a gay member of Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) campaign staff, addressed it on his blog this afternoon. “Apparently, faggot is an entirely appropriate slur as long as Dan Savage is slinging it and gay people who you don’t agree with are on the receiving end,” he wrote, adding, “It gets better my ass.”
GOProud’s LaSalvia told Raw Story, “It’s pretty amazing that this is the guy who President Obama has tapped to be his advisor on bullying.” (LaSalvia was apparently referring to the White House’s participation in the It Gets Better project.)
Interestingly, the controversy erupted the same day as the Village Voice published a brutal cover story by Steven Thrasher which asked, “Does ‘Gay Inc.’ Believe in Free Speech?” and suggested that, “In the battle over gay rights, dissent during wartime isn’t always tolerated.”
UPDATE: Notably, Barron personally endorsed Gov. Gary Johnson, first during the Republican primary and then after he left the Republican Party, and serves as his National Press Liaison.
[Ed note: this story was updated to clarify that Barron remains at GOProud as chief strategist.]