David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union, which puts on the Conservative Political Action Conference every year, has responded to the complaints from anti-gay activists who are demanded that the gay conservative group GOProud be removed from the list of CPAC co-sponsors, by refusing to do so but assuring them that GOProud will not be allowed to speak at the event and that the CPAC’s overwhelmingly anti-gay bias would not be undermined by GOProud’s presence:
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.
Of course, anti-gay activists aren’t buying it and instead see it as proof that the conservative movement is being infiltrated by socialists:
“I would have thought the American Conservative Union would have had a higher standard for groups that cosponsor their pivotal annual event,” [radio host Adam] McManus told WND. “If there’s one time when conservatives need to be getting their message right and need to be clear about what they believe, it’s right now amidst the Obama socialist push.”