Conservative gay rights group endorses Romney

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makes a statement on vice presidential vetting on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in Holland, Mich. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

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AP Photo/Evan Vucci

(CBS News) The board of directors of GOProud, a conservative gay rights group, voted Tuesday night to endorse Republican Mitt Romney for president, citing his economic positions while noting its differences with the candidate on the issue of gay marriage.

"Most gay Americans, like their straight counterparts, are not better off than they were four years ago," said Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud executive director, in a statement. "The truth is that gay people are living in the disastrous, failed Obama economy too.

"President Obama and his friends on the left want this election to be about divisive social issues, because the president's record on jobs and the economy is indefensible. At this critical juncture, we need a president with the experience and expertise to turn this economy around. Someone who knows how the free markets work. Former Gov. Mitt Romney is that candidate."

LaSalvia noted that the group still strongly disagrees with Romney's support for a federal marriage amendment outlawing same-sex marriage and wants to see "bolder" action on tax reform, entitlement reform and spending. Two board members did not vote for Romney, including Christopher Barron, a GOProud co-founder who supports former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson for president.

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