GOP gay group: We are not shutting down, ‘still discussing’ rebranding

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

Republican gay group GOProud has denied reports that it will imminently shut down after both its founders abandoned it, saying it is “still discussing” its future.

Co-founder Chris Barron resigned from GOProud in February, criticizing “an unconditional surrender to the forces of bigotry” from the group’s current leadership, who he says failed to make a stand on gay issues within the party.

A month before, co-founder Jimmy LaSalvia left the group and the Republican party entirely, describing it as closed-minded towards gay people.

Matthew Bechstein, GOProud’s Executive Director, today denied the group would shut down following the resignations, saying: “The truth is, GOProud has had some preliminary discussions about rebranding.

“That is, changing our name. As with any organization, when new challenges arise, we react with necessary adjustments.

“There have been concerns among our members and investors, about whether or not we can continue to grow and be effective without severing ourselves from past controversies.

“At this point nothing has been decided. We are still discussing all the possibilities, and would be months away from instituting any real changes.

“The fact is, in order to continue promoting the conservative principles upon which this organization was founded, change is needed.

“One of the changes under discussion is a switch to a different legal type of organization- basic paperwork that requires dissolution and immediate subsequent reorganization. Technically, as some argue, this would be a legal ‘closure’.

“But if it were to actually happen, it would only be momentary and certainly not the end of our organization. Rather, I would see it as progress- making the necessary adjustments that allow us to fulfill our goals.

“Let me be clear, no matter what happens, our grassroots infrastructure, and our daily activism will continue throughout any possible transition. We do not plan to stop working.”

The Log Cabin Republican group, which advocates for gay rights and same-sex marriage, was banned from putting up stands at the party’s Texas state convention last week.