That’s what GOProud self-awarely dubbed their party in the trendy Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa last night. They were nice enough to invite me and I went for an hour or so.
It was a good time. The crowd was big and, so far as I could tell, assuming I have the rudiments of a functioning “gaydar”, was an even mix between gay conservatives (notably, cofounders Chris Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia both used “conservative” and not “Republican” throughout to describe their group and its members) and what they called their “straight allies.” Barron offered a brief but moving tribute to the late Andrew Breitbart, an early booster for the organization, and LaSalvia offered a brief call to arms for Mitt Romney.
His best line was easy to spot. Remarking that the Democrats wanted to make the election about social issues, LaSalvia said even though he supports civil recognition for gay unions, that (and I paraphrase) “to get married you have to get a date first. And everybody knows that to get a date you have to have a job.” It was a humorous way of offering GOProud’s version of Mitch Daniels’ “truce” — or a narrower truce, at least, on gay issues.
By the way, there were go-go dancers at the party — of both sexes. But they were wearing jeans and Romney t-shirts. Like I said — conservative.