Lessons Learned

BY Michelangelo Signorile

May 16 2011 3:00 AM ET

 GOProud is opposed to the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which is now law. And fearing being cut out of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — which for 2012 has banned groups that support any pro-gay legislation — Barron told the blog RedState last February, “Considering we don’t support gay marriage and DADT isn’t part of our 2011 legislative agenda [I’m] not sure how this affects us at all.”

Barron and GOProud now also support House speaker John Boehner defending section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in federal appeals court after President Obama announced he believed the law is unconstitutional — though Barron himself is legally married to a man in Washington, D.C. Barron’s husband, to whom he refers a lot in his tweets, is a D.C. teacher who wrote a piece in MetroWeekly about how kids learn to be bullies from adults who bully one another. But there couldn’t possibly be a better example of an adult bullying other adults than Barron tweeting this: “The gay left = the American Taliban. Hateful, angry and dumb as shit.” He’s also tweeted that Andrew Sullivan is “fat,” “pathetic,” and “self-important” and that Meghan McCain is “intensely stupid.”

Barron has said in a radio interview that he wanted to see as many candidates as possible in the Republican primaries — including, presumably, even the antigay ones, which is most of them — but then tweeted that Fred Karger, the only openly gay announced candidate (who is associated with GOProud’s rival group, Log Cabin, and actually forcefully takes on homophobic politicians), is a “fake candidate.”

Barron’s impulsive tweets are telling in a variety of ways. He obsessively tweets about his abs and his workouts in a way that betrays a guy who’s pretty insecure about his body and perhaps his very manhood, out to prove he’s a real guy, not like those other gays, such as the “catty” Barney Frank, who Barron tweeted has a “purse” and wants to “sit in Scott Brown’s lap.”

This insecurity over masculinity seems to be a theme at GOProud. In a YouTube clip that received much attention over the winter, GOProud member Matt Hissey says he doesn’t like most gays: “I don’t really like gay people that much. Gay people frustrate me, the stereotypical gay people, it frustrates me…”

In an interview on my radio program, Barron had a meltdown after I noted blatant hypocrisy in his apologizing for having rightly called conservative power attorney Cleta Mitchell a “nasty bigot” in a public forum. Conservatives at CPAC and across the right-wing blogosphere expressed outrage at his comment, and conservative lesbian radio host Tammy Bruce quit the GOProud board within days. GOProud’s invitation back to CPAC was jeopardized as well, in yet another example of Barron’s volatile nature getting him in trouble. Attempting to stop the bleeding, he issued a slobbering apology for his bad “language.”

When I noted that it was “wussy” of him to apologize to Mitchell while refusing to apologize for calling the gay left “dumb as shit,” Barron lashed out, and I had to bring the interview to a close.
 












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