Jimmy LaSilvia, executive director of the conservative gay organization GOProud, spoke Tuesday night about an issue he admitted he will never have to deal with: abortion.
The event was cosponsored by three groups, including the pro-life Colonials for Life , the College Republicans and Allied in Pride, a lesbian gay bisexual and transgender advocacy group. Organizers of the event said they chose LaSilvia for his unconventional position in the political sphere.
“I don’t know too many gay guys who have unplanned pregnancies,” LaSilvia said. “But I believe the LGBT community should support the pro-life community. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness applies to gay people and the unborn.”
LaSilvia said in politics today, there is a misconception that people who support gay rights also support a woman’s right to choose.
“Not all gay people are liberal and not all conservatives are anti-gay,” LaSilvia said.
LaSilvia, who was raised in a military family in Texas, re-entered the political sphere after the 2008 election for the first time since college. LaSilvia said 1.3 million gay Americans voted for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for president in 2008.
“I realized there were a lot of conservative gays out there and I knew those million voters deserved a voice,” he said. GOProud was founded in 2008 as part of LaSilvia’s attempt to represent gay conservatives at the federal level.
LaSilvia, who said he has no idea why liberals get to define the “gay agenda,” said he believes those in the political realm need to separate from social issues, even if it means risking gay rights.
“I happen to think marriage is just as good for straight people as gay people but we have to be realistic about it. In the meantime, let’s fix the issues we can,” LaSilvia said. He said there are other things, such as Social Security reform with private, inheritable accounts, which benefits the gay community in a big way.
The day before his appearance at GW, conservative groups including GOProud released a letter to Congress urging House and Senate Republicans to avoid a strict focus on social issues.
“We basically said to the new members of Congress, ‘Remember why you’re elected. It’s time to get our country back on track,'” LaSilvia said.
LaSilvia detailed his beliefs about issues varying from the don’t ask, don’t tell policy and gay marriage to Social Security reform and LGBT bullying in schools during a question-and-answer period.
“In the gay community, we need to look at priorities and consider what affects the most people on a day-to-day basis,” LaSilvia said. “We have very limited political power.”