Huffpost Gay Voices
reports that Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder of the conservative gay group GOProud has left the Republican party and registered as an independent. See Jimmy LaSalvia, Former GOProud Founder, On Republican Party's 'Cultural Disease' , Aaron Schock (January 20).

The article quotes LaSalvia as saying:

"I did say I was embarrassed to be a Republican...The 2012 election is when I really came to the realization that no matter how hard we tried, no matter how fast support grew, there were still anti-gay forces in the Republican party...They tolerate anti-gay people and that shows a cultural disconnect and they're so out of touch that I think you can't fix it."

Huffpost also quotes LaSalvia as follows:

"'It's not just about the issue of marriage,' LaSalvia said. 'It's bigger than just a single issue. It's just about a cultural disease that just can't be fixed. The fact that last week when Agema went on an outrageous anti-Muslim rant - unless that kind of behavior is denounced, it stains everyone.'"

According to the same article, LaSalvia also charged House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other Republican leaders with lacking the backbone to stand up against the forces of intolerance.

This article does not specifically mention immigration. But are Boehner and the other GOP leaders doing any better on standing up against bigotry against immigrants than they are in the case of bigotry against gays?

If they were, CIR would have been passed and become the law of the land many months ago. But maybe there is a difference. We don't read very much about gay leaders who try to make excuses for Republican hate.

As Jimmy LaSalvia shows, they are not afraid to call the GOP leaders out for failing to condemn bigotry in their party. So why are immigration advocates still pretending that somehow, we can expect reform, "piecemeal" or otherwise, to come (one of these years) from House Republican leaders such as Boehner and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia), when these leaders are afraid to take on their party's anti-immigrant bigots?

Can there be any other motive besides lack of backbone to stand up against prejudice against Latino, Asian and black immigrants for the House Republican leaders' insistence on making draconian border security and internal enforcement poison pills conditions of any deal that they might be willing to reach on immigration reform (if they are willing to reach a deal at all)?

As Jimmy LaSalvia says in connection with gay rights, are the Republicans who are blocking immigration reform, whether outright, or by slicing and dicing it "piecemeal", also suffering from a "cultural disconnect" in their party that is too big to be fixed?