Open Phones Follow-Up: Gay Conservatives

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. In the Brian Lehrer Show interview with Andrew Breitbart on Wednesday, he asserted that there is a significant gay conservative vote. Today, Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud, an organization Breitbart is affiliated with, discussed his organizations work and the balance between social and fiscal issues within the GOP. Are you a gay conservative? How did you arrive at your political philosophy? Let us know!

LaSalvia reiterated Breitbart's assertion that the "gay vote" is up for grabs. 31 percent of gay voters voted for Republicans in the midterm elections, and LaSalvia said that more and more Republicans are making their case to gay voters.

Every single issue that affects any American affects gay Americans. And we know as gay conservatives that conservative policies are good for America and in many cases they are uniquely beneficial to gay people.

LaSalvia thinks moral issues are important but Capitol Hill isn't the right place to discuss them. He said a candidate's support of gay marriage is not a deal breaker for many gay conservatives.

I know many gay conservatives like many liberal gay people, who are concerned about the direction of our country and don't make that their number one priority. That is certainly demonstrated in voting patterns, although I don't know if you can look at a Presidential vote and tell, considering that that issue is decided on the state level and we've never had a candidate run for President with a nomination on either party who supported same-sex civil marriage.

Overall, LaSalvia feels more under attack from the political left than the right.

The gay left is by far the most intolerant towards us. Are there some on the right who don't like gay people? Sure, but the vast majority of our critics come from the left.

And he's happy to have Breitbart on his team.