Is the annual CPAC conservative activist conference coming undone — with the inclusion of gays being the final straw?
As we’ve posted before, some social conservative groups have been pulling out of the annual event, due to the inclusion of the gay conservative group GOProud. As the right-wing World Net Daily, which has been hammering away at this issue, now reports, the Heritage Foundation and the Media Research Center — an organization that cover a variety of issues, not just social conservatism — have also pulled out of CPAC.
Dave Weigel argues that other factors are at play here — notably financial disputes with the leadership of CPAC’s organizers, the American Conservative Union. But these groups are simultaneously blasting CPAC for including gays.Heritage has stated that the inclusion of GOProud was not directly related to it pulling out. But Heritage spokesman Mike Gonzalez still told WND:
“We believe in the traditional definition of the family,” Gonzalez explained. “We believe in defending the family against any threats that come against it. We’re not for gay marriage. We don’t think institutions that have existed for millennia can be done away with at the drop of a hat.”
On the other had, Brent Bozell III, head of the Media Research Center, specifically cited GOProud as a factor:
“We’ve been there 25 years, since our inception,” said Bozell. “To bring in a ‘gay’ group is a direct attack on social conservatives, and I can’t participate in that.”
In addition to WND’s report, the Family Research Council — which has participated in CPAC for several years — released a statement Thursday commenting on the controversy, and explaining their overall view of how CPAC’s organizers have diverged from full-fledged conservatism.
Regardless of what CPAC organizers may believe, conservatives and homosexual activists cannot coexist in a movement predicated on social values. This has nothing to do with whether individual homosexuals should be allowed to attend CPAC, or whether they are capable of holding conservative positions on some issues. We recognize that some organizations represented at CPAC are silent on the issue of homosexuality. But organizations whose whole reason for existence is to promote the forced public affirmation of homosexual conduct should not be welcomed at CPAC, because that is not — by any stretch of the imagination — a “conservative” agenda. By allying itself with liberal social organizations, ACU is abandoning at least a third of the conservative movement. (Emphasis in the original.)
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