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Matt Vespa


March 14, 2013 - 1:34 pm

The Atlantic had a story today claiming that GOProud is “gatecrashing” CPAC.  However, it really isn’t gatecrashing since gay conservatives aren’t barred from the conference.  They just can’t co-sponsor, which is a different issue entirely. Furthermore, GOProud is featured on a panel hosted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a CPAC co-sponsor, which is perfectly fine, and no one seems to be in the process of shutting that down.  It’s called “A Rainbow on the Right: Growing the Coalition, Bringing Tolerance Out of the Closet.”

The Washington Post’s conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin posted today that:

 CEI spokesman Brian McNicoll says via e-mail, “As a sponsor, CEI gets use of a room for two hours.” For the “Rainbow on the Right” panel, McNicoll tells me that Fred Smith, a CEI head, is moderating. Liz Mair, Jonah Goldberg, Margaret Hoover and Jimmy LaSalvia of GOProud are all confirmed.


CEI did not disguise its intentions from the CPAC organizers, who have been roundly criticized for excluding prominent conservatives such as Govs. Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie, as well as GOProud. McNicoll says, “We turned in the name [of the panel] and chose it so there could be no doubt what we were trying to do.” He says that there was “complete radio silence,” and the session was put on the schedule.

This is the revolt of a new generation of conservatives who are more inclusive and more media savvy. They understand that gay rights (I would say not unlike immigration reform) is increasingly a “gateway” issue for voters.

So, it’s not an “invasion,” as Rubin wrote in her headline.  Yes, GOProud’s relations with the ACU are strained.  They weren’t allowed to sponsor the event, but it’s not an outright ban.  Dave Weigel blogged today that, “GOProud, a gay Republican advocacy group, has been barred from co-sponsoring CPAC since it did so in 2011 and pissed off social conservatives. (Chris Barron, one of the group’s founders, called CPAC board member Cleta Mitchell a “nasty little bigot” in an interview with the gay magazine Metro Weekly. His apology was not truly accepted.)”  When you’re invited to someone’s house, you don’t defecate on the carpet.  If anyone called someone on the board of  the hosting committee a bigot, then rightfully things will get ugly. Furthermore, it doesn’t help that GOProud, in response to Gov. Rick Perry’s ad about gays in the military in 2011, outed his pollster, Tony Fabrizio, which isn’t something conservatives should do.  It’s already bad when conservatives cave to liberals. Do we really need to adopt the Barney Frank Rule too?

Yes, I vociferously disagree with the way GOProud handled that situation, but they should be allowed to sponsor CPAC.  It’s been two years, and being angry isn’t fun.  Just look at Occupy Wall Street.  As I’ve mentioned before, GOProud’s platform is very much aligned with that of the Tea Party.  Nevertheless, to say that they’re banned, and that their panel – which looks interesting – represents a form of “gatecrashing” is disingenuous in the extreme.

And don’t miss Next Generation’s members-only coverage of CPAC 2013 — featuring former Congressman Allen West and Michelle Fields.Click here to learn more.


Matt Vespa is a web editor at and occasional writer for Hot Air, RedState, and Townhall Magazine.

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All Comments   (4)
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"they should be allowed to sponsor CPAC."

Yeah? Why do you think so? All those words, then you offer a conclusion without any argument to support it.

Sounds to me like they will attack anyone with whom they disagree, use any dirty tactic out of petty vindictiveness, just like the Left.

Are we Democrats that we take just anyonne who offers us money and political power? Heck, we're not even Republicans who will do the same. We are Conservatives, and no, we should not allow another sexual identity politics group to co-sponsor. We should not allow them a platform for the normalization of homosexual behavior, because it is not normal.

Every time I hear someone saying we should accept gays, they never make the case for it, unless they are telling us we should move Left. How about you make a case for your position, huh? Please cease making statements as if they are prima facie true. Argue your case or don't speak. What are you... a Democrat?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"We should not allow them a platform for the normalization of homosexual behavior, because it is not normal.". Are you suggesting the GOP should exclude gay conservatives? Seriously, that's excluding a group who share the same core principles of the GOP which limited government and individual liberty. I actually like GOProud better than I do Log Cabin Republicans because those guys advocate nationalized same-sex marriage. GOProud believe it as a state's rights issue. And Jim LaSalvia to his credit while personally supports same-sex marriage fully understands opposition is not bigotry and respects social conservative views on such. As a matter of fact another thing that makes GOProud more conservative than Log Cabin Republicans is that they're pro-life. My point is that GOProud's a too valuable an organization to toss aside and ignore. At the same time the GOP don't have to abandon its support for traditional marriage. Members in a political don't have to agree on everything to still be united on core principles. Same thing is true with the GOP and GOProud.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
GOProud believes in the following:

Tax reform by replacing the current tax code with a Fair Tax.
Healthcare reform and repealing Obamacare
Social Security reform
Respecting proper role of the judiciary
Cutting spending in Washington, D.C.
Stand against global extremists and radical regimes that deny rights to gays and lesbians, women and religious minorities.
Opposing federal marriage amendment banning same sex marriage. Support of state's rights when it comes to marriage.
Second Amendment gun rights[21]
Supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and returning marriage back to the states.
Education reform

You don't grow a movement by subtraction. This is why they should be allowed to sponsor.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"it doesn’t help that GOProud, in response to Gov. Rick Perry’s ad about gays in the military in 2011, outed his pollster"
So they would rather kill the messenger.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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