A prominent conservative voice has resigned from the advisory board of the gay conservative group GOProud after a leader of the organization “outed” a top Rick Perry adviser on Twitter (GOProud was angry with Perry’s adviser for his involvement in the production of a recent TV ad, which many saw as “anti-gay.”)
A source who received a copy of the resignation email from Andrew Breitbart sends this along:
It is with sincere regret that I announce I must step down as a GOProud advisory member. On numerous occasions I have spoken with [GOProud leaders] Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron of the significant impact the practice of “outing” had in my evolution from the political left to the right. I was under the absolute impression that both agreed. I have a zero tolerance attitude toward the intentional infliction of vocational and family harm by divulging the details of an individual’s sexual orientation as a weapon of political destruction. As an “Advisory Board member” I was not consulted on this extreme and punitive act. Clearly, there are more productive means to debate controversial ideas and settle conflicts. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience stand with GOProud. I still stand by gay conservatives who boldly and in the face of much criticism from many fronts fight for limited government, lower taxes, a strong national defense as well as the other core conservative principles.
Earlier today, GOProud’s chairman Christopher Barron sent this to board members:
Dear Advisory Council Members and Board Members
There has been quite a bit of press coverage in the last 24 hours regarding our comments about Tony Fabrizio and his role in the Perry campaign, I just wanted to briefly bring you all up to speed on the background. First here is our statement on this yesterday: http://www.goproud.org/goproud-statement-on-tony-fabrizio-–-pollster-and-strategist-for-governor-rick-perry’s-presidential-campaign/
Second, both Jimmy and I have known Tony for years and have known that he was gay for years. Multiple media outlets contacted us after the Perry “Strong” ad debuted asking our opinion of Fabrizio’s role in the campaign given the anti-gay nature of the ad. Every news outlet that called asked our opinion of a gay man being a part of this campaign’s leadership.
As we were responding to these inquiries it never occurred to us that he wasn’t out. We would never intentionally out anyone, but quite honestly, we didn’t think we were outing anyone. If Tony Fabrizio was closeted it was news to both of us.We aren’t in the business of prying into other people’s personal lives, however if Tony Fabrizio wanted it to be a secret that he was gay he probably should have done a better job of letting other people know it was supposed to be a secret.
Breitbart had long been a supporter of the group, even throwing a party for them at CPAC.
Update: Lisa De Pasquale, a GOProud advisory council member, sends this response along:
I understand Andrew’s reason for resigning and respect his decision. I have always come from a place of building coalitions and being the peacemaker, so I will continue my advisory council role with GOProud. I don’t think this incident was a coordinated effort to “out” someone, but a bad decision to tweet something inappropriate when emotions were high. Many of us have been in a similar position or had friends in a similar position. GOProud can move past this, repair relationships that may have been hurt and continue to work for our shared conservative beliefs.