Scandal at Right-Wing Confab: I See Gay People! Religious Right Leaders Withdraw CPAC Sponsorship

Among the sponsors of CPAC is GOProud, a conservative gay and lesbian group. The religious right is up in arms.

In the days before the Tea Party movement (remember those?), the hottest ticket in town for right-wing movers and shakers was the annual CPAC convention, hosted in Washington, D.C., each February by the American Conservative Union. If you were a Republican presidential hopeful, an invitation to speak at CPAC was an offer you couldn't refuse.

While Tea Party leaders seek to shrink the GOP tent to cover only those who hate government, religious-right leaders are on a tear to purge religious heretics from the conservative cause. The right-wing OneNewsNow is reporting that Liberty University, founded by the late segregationist Rev. Jerry Falwell and now led by his son has withdrawn its co-sponsorship of CPAC because of the inclusion of another co-sponsor: GOProud, an organization of conservative gay men and lesbians. Other right-wing Christian leaders, including Gary Bauer, co-signed a letter penned by Falwell that decries the inclusion of

From OneNewsNow's Jim Brown:

Liberty University chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Liberty Law School dean Mat Staver had penned a letter to CPAC organizer David Keene last month, requesting that he disallow the homosexual group GOProud from co-sponsoring the conference.  The letter was also signed by other evangelical Christian leaders, including Gary Bauer of American Values. GOProud supports, among other things, same-sex "marriage" and repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Staver reports that he never received a formal response to his complaint, so Liberty University is dropping its co-sponsorship.  Liberty Counsel, however, will still have a booth at CPAC.

Because, of course, it's one thing to fork over one's own money to support a conference that doesn't tow your line, but quite another to miss an opportunity to raise money from the attendees of that conference.

Brown also mention's Sarah Palin's refusal of CPAC's invitation to speak at its gathering, quoting a Palin associate:

According to a source close to Palin, the event is a forum that will put "special interests over core beliefs" and "pocketbook over policy." 

Or maybe CPAC just wouldn't fill Palin's pocketbook with the rumored $100,000 that Tea Party Nation reportedly coughed up in order to have the Barracuda grace its podium at the TPN convention next month in Nashville.

The American Conservative Union just announced Glenn Beck as CPAC's closing speaker on Feb. 20. Other heretics gracing the CPAC stage include Ann Coulter, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tucker Carlson and Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.
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