Though it has opposed the Defense of Marriage act, the gay Republican group GOProud has never officially endorsed marriage equality. Until now. GOProud director Jimmy LaSalvia (right) told Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner that the three-and-a-half year old group is joining statewide initiatives to enact same-sex marriage, and has issued a statement in support of the cause: Since our founding, GOProud has worked exclusively on federal issues. Because marriage has been a state issue since the founding of our country, we have had no official position on marriage or relationship recognition. We have supported, and continue to support, the repeal of DOMA, and we oppose any effort to federalize marriage though a constitutional amendment. Now that GOProud’s Board of Directors has voted to begin work on the state and local level, we believe it is important to lay out our principles when it comes to marriage and relationship recognition. GOProud believes that stable, loving, committed relationships are the cornerstone of our society and should be protected and encouraged for all couples – including gay and lesbian couples. We believe that the decision about how to best do this is one that should be made at the state level and that these decisions are best made by the people directly or through their elected representatives – not by unelected judges. Where civil marriage is possible, we support civil marriage. Where civil unions are possible, we support civil unions. Where domestic partner benefits are possible, we support domestic partner benefits. As federalists, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach on almost any issue and that includes relationship recognition for gay couples. We are firmly committed to winning hearts and minds, which is why we understand that not everyone who doesn’t support marriage for gay couples is automatically a bigot or homophobe. We understand that there are people of deep faith who may have religious objections to marriage. We respect those differences and believe that no church or religious institution should ever be force to solemnize a marriage that is against its teachings. Exactly how effective the group’s efforts will be when it continues to endorse politicians who oppose marriage equality is anyone’s guess.
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