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LaBarbera, LaRue, LaSalvia: La Huh?!

by Jeremy Hooper

These are some of the names who have signed onto a new document that calls on Senate Republicans to filibuster Judge Sonia Sotomayor when her confirmation hearings begin:

Gary Bauer, American Values
Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family
Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America
Donald E. Wildmon, American Family Association
Rev. Rick Scarborough, Vision America
Rev. Louis Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition
Andrea Lafferty, Traditional Values Coalition
Linda Harvey, Mission America
Sandy Rios, Culture Campaign
Peter LaBarbera, Americans for Truth
Brian Camenker, MassResistance
Kris Mineau, Massachusetts Family Institute
Gary Glenn, President, American Family Association of Michigan
Diane Gramley, American Family Association of Pennsylvania
Don Feder, Feder Associates, Massachussetts
Janet M. LaRue, Esq., Jan LaRue Consulting, Texas
Larry Cirgnano, Virginia
Janet Parshall, Nationally Syndicated Talk show Host

Some of the most anti-gay voices in the political realm, a few of whom even represent SPLC-certified hate groups. And these are not even close to the only queer-resistant folks on the list, just the ones that are most recognizable to G-A-Y readers.

Oh, but there's another voice who has signed onto this exact same doc:

Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud

Yes, that's right: Openly gay Jimmy LaSalvia, head of the Log Cabin Republican splinter group GOProud, has put his name right alongside these professionally Picture 3-214homo-hostile "John, get your Hands off his cock"s! The same people who gripe about Lawrence v. Texas to this very day. The same folks who use the "activist judge" label when a justice so much as lisps when yelling "order in the court." The same people who'll surely take to the streets in rage if the court were to rule when the court rules in favor of our marriage equality. Jimmy has put his pen to the same court-centric paper.

GOProud? When your form of "pride" is this willing to join forces with your community's most heated opponents, who needs shame?

Conservatives Ask Republican Senators to Filibuster on Sotomayor [NYT Caucus blog] (H/t: Damieon)

*The full document with complete signatory list:

20090601 Coalition Letter

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper

Your thoughts

As far as the anti-gays go, if they're freaking out like this, Sotomayor may be better for us than many of us first thought.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Jun 2, 2009 1:23:09 PM

Thank you for revealing Jimmy LaSalvia and GOProud to be what they are: the worst kind of self-loathing homasekshuls.

Posted by: Bruno | Jun 2, 2009 1:59:11 PM

This reads like a virtual Who's Who of enemies of freedom and equality for gay citizens.

I guess Jimmy has found where he fits in the world.

Posted by: Timothy | Jun 2, 2009 2:13:08 PM

Even though her appointment is not someone I would like, she does not believe that people have the right to own firearms, but (even if guns are banned in mexico and the uk) there is still violence. Elections have consequences, Obama and company dominate the country and this still does not change the liberal to moderate/conservative margin in the supreme court.

Yes, Jimmy and friends may be super conservative where they would vote for wingnuts before RINOS, but if they want someone gay friendly and conservative they should run for office instead so we would have conservatives that respect equality, and that is why I am not that keen in GoProud and would rather stay with Log Cabin.

Posted by: Matt from California | Jun 2, 2009 2:29:11 PM

GOP-roud probably picked up some in-kind (pay to play) supporters in exchange for their soul/signature-selling. But, it shouldn't be surprising that those who identify with a party of old, white, minority-averse, self-absorbed, me-first republicans to have a reaction to a highly educated Puerto Rican female who wants to crash an old, mostly white, mostly male club.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jun 2, 2009 3:08:01 PM

This is nothing really new. There have always been these shell type groups who came on the scene seeking funding and claiming to be glbt PACs. If they openly attack so-called "elite, liberal, militant homosexual groups", they know they will get some publicity. But almost always, they quickly disappear: eg Tom Beddingfield and "Gays for 22", 'The Austin 12', and Mary Cheney with 'Republican Unity Coalition'. Where are any of those groups now?

Posted by: Mateo1970 | Jun 2, 2009 4:15:54 PM

The Austin 12 was never a "group". I was just a name given to the 12 guys who met with Bush.

The Republican Unity Coalition is in a bit of an odd position. It's in many ways defunct, but one of its supporters is now party chairman so who knows (he was never a moderate but believes in including moderates, as best I can tell). And as for Mary, she has been out of the limelight mostly, but her dad did reconfirm his support (or perhaps acceptance?) of gay marriage - at least on a state by state basis.

Incidentally, neither of these groups ever (EVER) attacked so-called "elite, liberal, militant homosexual groups". That only exists in the minds of bigots and haters who can't fathom that gay Republicans might actually exist. (not you, of course)

Log Cabin is still functioning, but they were never a "shell type" group but are comprised of real grass-roots people.

Posted by: Timothy | Jun 2, 2009 5:02:43 PM

Gay libertarians I can understand. Gay Republicans = lol.

Posted by: Chris | Jun 2, 2009 10:45:38 PM

If you look closely at the names on the list you'll see people who are desperate to get back into the public's attention. The national conversation, even in the wingnuttosphere, has passed them by. I'd hoped for something better for LaSalvia, if only to provide a more activist group to stir up trouble in the GOP, but it's undeniable: a man is known by the company he keeps, and this is a company of losers and rejects.

Posted by: Bob Crispen | Jun 3, 2009 6:05:50 AM

What does the fact that GOPROUD signed something about a supreme court nominee have to do anything with gay rights? It doesnt. Who cares if two opposed groups have the same beliefs on another issue?

I don't even understand why you posted this. Is it to try and discredit GOPROUD? Signing a piece of paper about a supreme court nominee is irrelevant to a groups stance on gay rights.

I'm not sure why its so hard to fathom that there are MORE issues in politics than gay rights. GOPROUD doesnt like the nominee because of her views and her politics. And somehow you manage to tie them with anti-gay groups. Classic...

Come on Jeremy...

Posted by: Pomo | Jun 3, 2009 1:06:17 PM

"Come on Jeremy"

No please don't. I'm partnered and I just showered.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 3, 2009 1:17:02 PM

you do alot of good work and I read you every day but this is one topic you just missed. I know all gay people are supposed to be democrats and hate anything republican but you're letting your politics color you into making this non-issue an issue :)

Posted by: Pomo | Jun 3, 2009 2:30:34 PM


To my way of thinking, it comes to this:

The groups signing the letter are not a collection of independent organizations that have joined together for the purpose of their mutual concern about the Supreme Court nominee. Rather, they are something called the Third Branch Conference which seeks to implement Third Branch Principles.


While the Third Branch Principles may be couched in simple conservative language, a closer look reveals intent.

Behind the language about "no religion test" and "no respect for past error" is a clear agenda - support justices that will base judicial decisions on religious doctrine and oppose those who see a separation between church and state. In specific, support justices that do not find a right to privacy in the Contitution.

This is essential to their efforts for two reasons: both Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas are based on the right to privacy. And the Third Branch Conference wants both decisions overturned.

Obviously, attacks on Lawrence are a gay issue. So too are efforts to obtain and empower a religion-based jurist.

And this is not just a collection of conservative groups. No mainstream Republican organizations appear to be a part. However, there are a number of extremist anti-gay - no, I'll say raging homophobe - groups whose existence has nothing to do with Supreme Court nominees. They exist solely for anti-gay activism. For example, Peter LaBarbera of "Americans for Truth about Homosexuality".

If this truly had nothing to do with an attack on gay rights, Peter wouldn't be involved. Nor would Lew Sheldon and his daughter Andrea Lafferty of TVC or Brian Camenker of MASSResistance (a group founded to oppose Massachusetts' marriage decision).

I disagree with Jeremy from time to time on partisan issues. But this is not a matter of attacking Republicans.

GOPride came out of nowhere a few months back and it is reasonable to track their efforts. So far they have done two things: 1) try and discredit the gay group Log Cabin Republicans, and 2) join forces with the Third Branch Conference. Both efforts are deliberate attempts to harm the gay community.

Jimmy LaSalva is showing himself to be an enemy of my rights and freedoms. And I don't care what party he's in; he needs to be exposed.

Posted by: Timothy | Jun 3, 2009 3:30:21 PM


to get a sense of Jimmy's co-signers, read this


Posted by: Timothy | Jun 3, 2009 3:31:40 PM


I seem to constantly hear gay people trying to discredit log cabin republicans as well. They call them homophobes and believe they betray all gay people. Indeed Gays have done more harm to LCR than GOPride could ever do. Gay people shoot themselves in the foot by attacking anyone who dares hold conservative views.

As for protesting a supreme court nominee, it is par for the course. And if you remember it was DEMOCRATS who fillabustered Bush's picks and did every sort of trick to try and stop them. Now a new gay conservative group (which i admittedly know little about) comes around and sign a petition against a supreme court nominee they don't like and because antigays also signed that petition people assume this isn't a gay group.

No one seems to bother wondering if for the gay conservative other issues can actually be important beyond gay rights.

Jeremy and others are simply using this as another opportunity to attack gay conservatives rather than appriciate diversity in our community and encourage those who are already inside conservative ranks to work for change.

Posted by: Pomo | Jun 3, 2009 4:23:48 PM

"Jeremy and others"

Pomo, if you think I am part of some lefty Republican-bashing monolith, then I honestly see no reason to dialogue with you. Because nothing could be further from the truth.

I also think it's funny that you say that "on this one topic [I] just missed," when you are the only one who has expressed as much on here. Several sites have picked up the same thing, and Michelangelo Signorile covered it today on his show. You are the one who seems to be in the minority here.

Also: You may not know this, but Timothy is himself a rightish-leaning, wonderful contributor to this site. Our respect is mutual. And I think he would be the first to tell you that I'm far from someone who bashes Republicans simply for the sake of spanking elephants. it's not how I see the fight.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 3, 2009 4:38:15 PM

I do know Timothy is right leaning. We have corresponded before. And yes from the past 6 months i've been reading your blog I'd say you fit quite well with the general lefty republican baching monolith. Even one time when McCains daughter supported homosexuality to you it wasn't enough. I'm actually suprised you don't see yourself that way. But there could be something I've missed and i'm more than willing to see how you're fair to republicans or not a lefty.

I am the only one who has expressed the point of unfairly connected GOPride with anti-gay groups because there are few conservative gay activists who regularly read these types of blogs and comments. Infact I know very few conservatives or non-gays that could even stomach a site like this. Thats not bashing you because like I said most of the time i like your blog. But its just that your point of view is very biased and very one sided.

I call out illogical conclusions on both sides of the isle when i see them. That doesn't make me many friends but i'm sad that everytime I disagree with you you turn to the "i dont have to defend myself, theres no point to continue dialogue etc." stance. At a blog as big as yours you're going to get criticism. I even get it at my little blog. Atleast you're getting it from someone with similar goals as yours. I want to see gay people treated equal. And to do that we need gay conservatives to reach people you never could!

Posted by: Pomo | Jun 3, 2009 6:50:40 PM

Pomo, I'm sorry but I don't remember the Democrats filibustering ANY of Bush's nominees. Could you refresh my memory? Just name ONE SCOTUS nominee that the Democrats filibustered. I'll be happy to wait.

In fact, if I remember correctly the Republicans were screaming, "Up or down vote on ALL Supreme Court nominees". And didn't they threaten to UNCONSTITUTIONALLY use the "nuclear (or nu-cu-ler) option" to take away the filibuster option?

The ONLY Bush nominee that wasn't approved was Harriett Miers and it was right-wing conservatives and fundamentalists who put the final nail in her coffin.

I know you conservatives have a real taste for rewriting history but unfortunately for you there is an easily accessible public record that refutes your claim.

Posted by: Zeke | Jun 3, 2009 7:35:43 PM

Pomo: Responding to criticism is a major part of what I do and something that I welcome (thus the reason why I, unlike many, take part in my own open forum). But when I feel that someone has fundamentally misrepresented the issue, my views, or my work, that is when I refuse to engage. And when they do so in a way that seems to want to *tell* me what I am, what I do, what I'm thinking, etc, and when there seems to be no room for actual dialogue, that's when I turn off. And in my view, you have done all of the above.

By not responding to your points, I mean no offense. But this is the way I honestly feel.

*But that all being said, I should also say that I am proudly left of center. That just doesn't mean that I'm anti-anyone to my right.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 3, 2009 8:10:49 PM

"What does the fact that GOPROUD signed something about a supreme court nominee have to do anything with gay rights?"

The fact of the matter is, Pomo, that it does. I think that Jeremy's issue here is that the gay republicans have sided with the litany of rabidly anti-gay signatories that are also endorsing this filibuster. A filibuster of a brilliant, highly experienced, well qualified jurist simply because of her gender, and her lack of lily-whiteness. Politics does make for strange bedfellows, but in this case the gay-republicans might want to consider donning full body-armor before entering that boudoir.

But, just from a rational perspective, it seems reasonable to expect that having Sotomayor on the court would probably be beneficial to LGBT rights. Maybe not, but more than likely it would. Even conservative female justice O'Connor found a way to side with LGBTs in Lawrence, so a less conservative (perhaps) Sotomayor more than likely would do the same - and in this court, we need at least a Souter, if not the jurisprudence equivalent of an absolute antithesis of Scalia.

So, in that sense, the makeup of the Supreme Court is very much an LGBT issue. Especially considering the cases that we know will be landing there in the not so distant future.

But, for the record, I have to say that I very much prefer that GOPride moniker! GOP-ride actually sounds fun, and naughty at the same time.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jun 3, 2009 9:45:23 PM

DICK, I don't support a fillabuster except in the most extreme cases. What I have learned about Sotomayor, it is not appropriate in this instance. But as I say often, I no more trust democratic picks for any position than I do republican picks. Sotomayor is catholic is she not? Catholics tend to be very anti-gay. So I don't see her helping our cause. As always, I hope I am proven wrong.

Her race has nothing to do with the matter. Again, another democrat playing the race card or the GLBT card. Bush appointed more minorities to high posts than any president before him. And it was his father that appointed Clarence Thomas. So don't pull that crap card.

JEREMY, Everything I said was from my perspective. I'm pretty middle of the road and alot of what you say is left leaning to me. Which means theres a whole segment of the population that thinks your views are extreme, no matter how fair you may think you are. And I for one just wish gay conservatives would be given more respect and welcomed instead of everything they do being nitpicked and blown out of proportion.

Posted by: Pomo | Jun 4, 2009 1:29:42 PM


Jeremy didn't "unfairly connected GOPride with anti-gay groups." If Jimmy has signed on to the Third Branch Conference, then he has on his own alligned his tiny club with anti-gay groups.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Jun 4, 2009 3:15:35 PM


It is NOT true that "the gay republicans have sided with the litany of rabidly anti-gay signatories..."

Jimmy LaSilva's brand-new teeny-tiny little group of a handful of the more right-wing gays is not at all even remotely representative of "the gay republicans".

To the extent that the 25-35% of gays who register/identify/vote Republican are represented by anyone, they are represented by Log Cabin Republicans, a grass-roots organization that has a presence in every state in the nation and that has been active for over 30 years. Log Cabin has the good sense to stay away from anti-gay activists like those who signed this letter.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Jun 4, 2009 3:20:26 PM

Pomo, that a republican actually points to Thomas as a representative of African Americans is exceptionally typical. Thomas, is arguably, the lily-whitest of this entire court - and excepting Scalia, is the arguably the most homophobic.

Timothy, I stand corrected. This splinter faction of the gay republicans did side with the aforementioned "litany". While it probably was entirely my intention to cast a less than flattering light on all gay republicans, I did overstep a bit, and for that I do apologize.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jun 4, 2009 10:58:53 PM

Yes, well, because I guess two minorities can't BOTH achieve equality, and if a Latina is on the Supreme Court...

I just am curious how this fits into "repackaging traditional conservative views" to look APPEALING to the gay community.

Posted by: Break the Terror | Jun 9, 2009 6:55:30 PM

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