Two days ago Bilerico posted a report that GOProud was closing down to “rebrand” under a new name. That claim spawned furious denials from various GOProud members on social media. Yesterday Bilerico posted an update:
After Andrew Markle’s story yesterday that the far-right conservative LGBT group GOProud was shutting down, the organization’s leadership took to Facebook to deny the reporting saying, “Nothing could be further from the truth” and “GOProud is not closing. It is growing.” Today, however, the group confirmed it plans to kill the GOProud brand and will attempt to reorganize as a grassroots online organization with a new name. “I posted what I had to on Facebook so I wouldn’t scare our members and thwart our fundraising efforts,” Executive Director Matthew Bechstein told Bilerico Project in an exclusive interview. “I wanted to mitigate a disaster.” “We’re leaving GOProud behind and re-branding the chapters.” While yesterday’s Facebook posting originally denied the report saying it was “misinformation” and the work of someone “that will stop at nothing to discredit our organization and its leadership team,” when presented with quotes he had made to Markle during a previous interview, Bechstein admitted that GOProud would soon cease to exist.
Last night GOProud responded publicly on its website:
“The truth is, GOProud has had some preliminary discussions about rebranding. That is, changing our name. As with any organization- when new challenges arise, we react with necessary adjustments.” Said Matthew Bechstein, Executive Director of GOProud. “There have been concerns among our members and investors, about whether or not we can continue to grow and be effective without severing ourselves from past controversies. Nonetheless, at this point nothing has been decided. We are still discussing all the possibilities, and would be months away from instituting any real changes. “The fact is, in order to continue promoting the conservative principles upon which this organization was founded, change is needed. One of the changes under discussion is a switch to a different legal type of organization- basic paperwork that requires dissolution and immediate subsequent reorganization. Technically, as some argue, this would be a legal “closure.” But if it were to actually happen, it would only be momentary and certainly not the end of our organization. Rather, I would see it as progress- making the necessary adjustments that allow us to fulfill our goals.”