Religious Right Threatens CPAC Boycott Over Gay Group's Sponsorship

Earlier this year, GOProud, a new gay conservative group, appeared on the scene intent on finding ways to sell the conservative agenda to gays. 

Their approach has been to eschew the "traditional" gay issues like hate crimes protections or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in favor arguing that healthcare reform would be bad for gays, that "the inheritance tax is really a gay tax," or claiming that the best way to stop hate crimes is to expand gun ownership.

But GOProud does also support things like marriage equality and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell ... and for that reason the Religious Right's professional anti-gay activists at Americans for Truth and the Liberty Counsel are now threatening to boycott the annual CPAC conference if GOProud is allowed to serve as an official co-sponsor:

Folks, for years religious conservatives have been complaining about getting the shaft from CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. There is usually only a token panel or two dealing with “Culture War” social issues like abortion and homosexuality (and rarely one explicitly on fighting the “gay” agenda) – as organizers seek to appease the CPAC libertarians, some of whom support goals like homosexual “marriage” that are anathema to socially conservatives.

Now CPAC’s tenuous ”Big Tent” could collapse altogether as social conservatives led by Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber threaten to launch a boycott of the conference (scheduled for Feb. 18-20, 2010) unless CPAC drops a homosexual activist group, GOProud, as a co-sponsor. Barber, my good friend, an AFTAH Board Member, and the Director of Cultural Affairs at Liberty Counsel, is leading the charge to keep the CPAC sponsorship list … conservative.

...

It boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home. This does not mean that people practicing those and other immoral (and changeable) behaviors cannot think and act conservatively on other issues like lowering taxes, cutting government spending, ending abortion, etc. But let’s be honest: the “proud” in GOProud is not about pride in opposing the death tax, or defending the right to bear arms; it’s about proudly embracing sinful homosexual behavior – and that is hardly a conservative value.

I challenge every thinking conservative to explain why we should jettison our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage (which clearly rejects homosexual acts as immoral) for some new, secularized brand of “conservatism” that fails to conserve natural, normal, and noble sex within God-ordained marriage. Where does the expansion of “conservatism” stop? Would CPAC welcome “Republicans for Abortion” as a co-sponsor? How about “Conservatives For Higher Taxes”? We doubt it. So let’s stop the double-standard on one issue — homosexuality — that happens to be politically incorrect in this decadent age.

The American Family Association is also voicing its opposition:

Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association and host of the radio program Focal Point with Bryan Fischer. He says CPAC chairman David Keene and CPAC organizers have a serious problem on their hands.

"The bottom line is that homosexuality is not a conservative value," Fischer states emphatically. "There are any number of co-sponsoring organizations that I believe are going to have a real problem with the fact that they are giving such a prominent place to an organization which is such an active proponent of gay rights."

"And it's GOProud, they're identifying themselves with the Republican Party...and yet their legislative agenda is directly contrary to the platform of the Republican Party."

As I wrote last year, though there is significant overlap, those who attend the CPAC conference have distinctly different priorities from those who attend the strictly Religious Right conferences like the Values Voter Summit.

It'll be interesting to see how CPAC organizers managed to handle this controversy.  I'm guessing that GOProud will eventually "voluntarily" withdraw their sponsorship.