Gay GOP Group Co-Sponsors Conservative Political Conference, But Not Allowed to Speak at It

Earlier this month, conservative gay rights group GOProud announced that it would be a co-sponsor of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But the group’s inclusion as a co-sponsor has led to a backlash from the anti-gay right, some of whom are threatening to boycott CPAC if GOProud’s sponsorship isn’t removed. CPAC director Lisa De Pasquale told Hot Air last week that she was “satisfied” that GOProud “do not represent a ‘radical leftist agenda’ and thus “should not be rejected as a CPAC cosponsor.” But David Keene, the head of CPAC’s main organizing group, tried to calm the potential boycott by using a different tactic. In an e-mail to a right-wing radio host, Keene promised that GOProud would not have a speaking spot and that gay rights issues would not be “open to debate”:


In his e-mail response, Keene admitted GOProud “has signed on as a CPAC co-sponsor, but will have no speakers and we told them that, in fact, since opposition to gay marriage, etc are consensus positions (if not unanimous) among conservatives, these topics are not open to debate.” [...]

“I know that there are those who are as opposed to the sinner as the sin, but our view is that CPAC is inclusive and welcomes all of those who agree with us on most issues. I don’t know the GOProud people personally, but we find it difficult to exclude groups because of disagreements on one or two issues no matter how important many of us believe those issues to be … other examples: we have pro-life and pro-abortion co-sponsors, advocates of restrictive and more open immigration, supporters and opponents of the war in Afghanistan and supporters and opponents of some of the restrictions adopted in the war on terror since 9/11,” he continued.

“Some of these issues draw significant support on both sides of the question from the broad movement and these we often debate at CPAC … trade policy, immigration are example … while others like abortion are consensus positions and while we accept those who differ from the consensus, we see no reason for further debate. Gay issues fall within this category,” he said.

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