I’ll confess that I was somewhat surprised when I read the news that GOProud was officially endorsing Mitt Romney. It’s not that Mitt isn’t the sort to attract support from a variety of demographic groups. But some of the GOProud supporters (and officers) I hear from seemed to be going for Libertarian candidate Governor Gary Johnson.

Of course, the more stereotypical wings of the gay rights front were quick out of the gate to condemn LaSalvia and his organization, led by Michael Musto at the Village Voice. I won’t paste a bunch of this hogwash in here (though you’re free to follow the link if you can stomach it) but he starts off with “Jewish Nazi” and goes downhill from there.

I decided to dig into it a bit further and asked Jimmy to sit down with Hot Air for a quick interview on this announcement, which follows.

HOT AIR: I assume by now you’ve seen the Michael Musto article out here in the Village Voice which identifies you as being, just for example, a “Jewish Nazi, a Black Klan member, a Mexican Republican or Roaches who moonlight as exterminators.” But unlike many of these articles, Musto actually takes a moment to acknowledge that you might be supporting somebody who is better on the economy and better for the nation – straight and gay – as a whole. Is this common for you?

Jimmy LaSalvia : No it’s not common for our critics to point out that our support for conservatives is, in our view, better for the country. But there is a first for everything!

Gay conservatives are constantly under attack from the bullies on the left – and they are especially nasty when they do it. The Michael Musto comments were part of a string of attacks from the left in the week since GOProud’s endorsement of Mitt Romney. It started with gay lefty activist Dan Savage calling us “house faggots,” then Joy Behar said that we probably only endorsed Romney because we were sexually attracted to his sons. Can you imagine what Joy and the ladies on The View would say if a man accused a woman of basing her support of President Obama on his looks?!?! They would go nuts condemning him.

The attacks on us are always over the top. It seems that it’s OK to use racist, masochistic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic words and phrases when attacking gay conservatives. Nobody in the mainstream media condemns it or comes to our defense. We are fortunate to have a lot of friends in the conservative blogosphere who regularly stand up for us. That means a lot to us, and it gives us the resolve to continue to stand up to the left wing bullies.

HA: Let’s take it as written for a moment that you find a lot of the issues critical to America’s future transcend gay-straight lines and that you feel Mitt is the superior choice. But let us know… how do you think Mitt shapes up on any of the so called “gay stuff” issues? He seems fairly big tent to me in some areas.

JL:As you know we at GOProud believe that every issue is a “gay issue,” and we make the case that conservative policies that benefit everyone also benefit gay people – sometimes in unique ways. On most every issue facing Americans (including the gay ones) Governor Romney is without question the best candidate.

On other issues that specifically affect gay Americans, Romney has a strong record. For instance, he appointed openly gay officials and judges when he was governor, and he’s consistently spoken out against discrimination against gays and lesbians in hiring.

I disagree with him on his support for a federal marriage amendment. As a constitutional conservative, I believe that the 10th Amendment leaves that issue to the states. I have never supported changing the US Constitution just because you happen to disagree with part of it.

HA: There was some hay being made in Left leaning publications over the fact that you didn’t have a unanimous vote supporting Romney. Some folks, like my friend Chris Barron, are personally supporting Gary Johnson. Did you give any thought to considering Johnson, and if not, why?

JL: Sure. I think a lot of Republicans are considering supporting Governor Johnson because he had a strong record as Governor of New Mexico. To be honest, I wish I had known more about him earlier in the primary process and I may have worked to help him win the Republican nomination. I decided in January to support Mitt Romney when it became clear to me that he was in the best candidate for our Party to run against President Obama.

GOProud’s number one priority this year is making sure that the President is defeated in November. That’s why we endorsed Governor Romney. He has the best chance of accomplishing that, and we’ll be working to help him.

HA: On some issues of concern to gay Americans such as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Barack Obama has gotten a lot of praise. Do you give him any credit for at least those things or do you feel he’s come up short?

JL: Yes, President Obama deserves credit for ending the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. I agreed with him on that, but I disagreed with the way that the President and Democrats in Congress politicized the issue. It was the right thing to do and could have been done in a much more bi-partisan and less politicized way.

The other ways he has reached out to gay Americans have largely been symbolic, like hosting White House receptions for gay activists and things like that. Those gestures may feel good, but do little to improve the day to day lives of gays and lesbians. I guess that’s no different from any other issue. Symbolism over substance is what we all have come to expect from this President, isn’t it?

HA: You’ve said yourself in so many words that economic prosperity and opportunity is not a gay or straight issue, but rather something that affects all Americans. What advice would you give a new President Romney as far as helping the nation’s economy and employment situation after he’s sworn in?

JL: Get the government out of the way of entrepreneurship! The way to grow the economy and create jobs is to allow the economy to work without the government’s interference. Unlike President Obama, Governor Romney understands how the economy works and he has the experience to help bring America back. That’s why he’s a candidate that straight and gay Americans alike can support.

Your views, as always, are welcome.