Below please find a post I wrote on the matter of GOProud Chairman Chris Barron’s recent remarks about Cleta Mitchell. When I ran it by Bruce as we had been discussing how to respond, he asked that I sign his name to it. So, consider it from both of us:
I have long believed it best to address your friends’ faults in private and your enemies’ in public. While Bruce and I have long been enthusiastic about GOProud and supportive of Chris Barron, its chairman of the Board and Jimmy LaSalvia, its executive director, as they try to create a national forum for gay conservatives, we have not always seen eye to eye with them. To be sure, we respect their work, enjoy their company and generally approve of the direction in which they are taking GOProud, but from time to time, we have been skeptical about some of their projects and have occasionally disagreed with their statements (or taken issue with their wording). We have expressed our concerns in private e-mails and polite conservations or merely in remarks to each other.
When we heard that Chris had called Cleta Mitchell a “nasty bigot” in a public forum, Bruce and I each contacted the other to express his concerns. We both believe he crossed a line and have been considering for the past 24 hours how to respond. This evening (Thursday, February 10), we thought it best to post this piece. While we disagree with Cleta Mitchell on a number of issues, we believe Chris was wrong to call her a “nasty bigot” to a reporter for the Metro Weekly. This is not appropriate public discourse. We are pleased that Chris apologized for using such intemperate language and encourage him to use greater discretion in future commentary.
UPDATE: Just saw this commentary at Allahpundit which reflects our views:
Even so, although I support GOProud, I admit to cringing a bit at Chris Barron goofing on boycotters as having exiled themselves to the “Island of Political Misfit Toys” or whatever. It’s not that DeMint et al. can’t take it — Barron himself, I’m sure, could offer a few insights from his formative years about dealing with taunts and name-calling — but doing an end-zone dance over such a contentious disagreement is foolishly and needlessly alienating.