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Hey GOProud: It's David Keene you need to be questioning, not gays who raised questions!

by Jeremy Hooper

When dealing with quotes, the platform on which one reads the words is far less important than the veracity of the text itself. Sure, there are horrible "news" outlets whose credibility makes Dr. Seuss seem like a bona fide food writer with innovative green eggs recipes. But if what was said was accurately printed, then the outlet itself doesn't negate what was conveyed in the quote. If one really can find a good time by calling a certain number, it doesn't make it any less so because said number was found on a dirty bathroom wall.

So why do we tell you this? Well, because we received an email from GOProud's Jimmy LaSalvia, who wants to clarify some of the things that were printed in a recent WorldNetDaily article regarding his group's sponsorship of the Conservative Political Action Conference. You might remember that in their piece, WND quoted CPAC official David Keene as essentially saying that the gay conservative group had been muzzled from talking about LGBT rights matters, because these were considered "consensus" issues with a majority of the GOP. But LaSalvia now says that this is all untrue, and questions why anyone would use WND as a source in the first place:

First, GOProud has all of the benefits as any other co-sponsor at our sponsorship level. Next, it was decided long before we ever signed on as a sponsor that there would not be a panel on marriage in the program. So when Mr. Keene said in an email that marriage would not be debated in the program, it was not a response to or a condition of our sponsorship. Last, there are nearly 100 co-sponsors of CPAC. Some of them will provide speakers for the panels and some of them won't. It just depends on the subject matter of the panels. Speaking slots are not a guaranteed benefit of sponsorship. So the reports that we are somehow being muzzled or not treated like everyone else are completely false. We have all the same benefits as the other co-sponsors, and we are looking forward to representing gay conservatives and our allies at the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the country.
ps - since when is World Net Daily a credible source?!!

Well look, our position on this gay-identified group's decision to sign up alongside the likes of NOM, CWA, Focus on the Family, Alliance Defense Fund, etc., is never going to change. We simply don't think that an LGBT group with "proud" in its name can, in good conscience, justify the choice to co-sponsor alongside so many organizations who've co-opted "family values" to mean "NO GAYS!"

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Should they show up at the party? Sure. They could speak, even. But a "co-sponsorship" implies an arm-in-arm support system, and in this instance, that makes us nothing short of queasy.

But beyond that: The Keene email, at least as quoted by WND, goes well beyond saying that marriage won't be discussed. It uses phrases like "promoting their lifestyle," and it suggests that gay rights matters in general are "consensus" positions that are not up for debate. Considering that some of the co-sponsors, like NOM, are 100% focused on stripping away rights, the mere idea that gay rights are not "open for debate" is itself offensive. So that's what this site and others were reacting to when we saw the WND piece. It wasn't that CPAC was abstaining from having a marriage equality panel, or that GOProud was being denied a proper speaking role. It was that even among the organizers who gladly accepted their sponsorship (unlike the conservs. who are outright hostile to the same), there was still a seeming list of conditions meant to make GOProud sound politically neutered. Conditions that other GOP groups would not, could not, and, quite frankly, should not agree to follow.

Now, going back to our original point in this post: If Mr. Keene did not make the comments that WorldNetDaily attributed to him, then LaSalvia, Keene, CPAC, and anyone else involved needs to take that up with the WND writer. Making up quotes would be a severe breach, and we'd be surprised that even a wacky outlet like WND would go so far. So just citing WND as an uncredible source (which they are) is not enough here. In fact, it seems like a side-stepping of the real issue. That issue would of course be the words themselves, and what they mean for both GOProud and the other co-sponsors.

By even addressing the group's content in terms of limitations, Mr. Keene has implied some degree of muzzling. If this was not the intent, or if he was completely misquoted, then all of us are owed an explanation. The conservatives who Keene was seemingly seeking to appease. The gay writers who were offended by the request. And most of all: GOProud, who should be resisting the idea that they even have a lifestyle to promote, and demanding to know whether or not Mr. Keene actually said that they did! We would even join them on that particular journey.

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Your thoughts

Rockanomics? *Really?*

But yeah, just being put on the same list as the John Birch Society would be enough for me to pull out.

Posted by: Matt Algren | Dec 29, 2009 4:09:52 PM

If GOProud had even a smidgen of self-pride, they wouldn't have to clarify. Their integrity wouldn't let them get within a mile of Eagle Forum or ADF.

I will say that I do have one thing for which to praise them: their extremist sell-out, self-hating, we-are-inferior attitude makes Log Cabin seem a bit more mainstream. While I may not always agree with every LCR endorsement or position (though I'm sure I do more frequently than you do), I know they would never co-sponsor CPAC.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Dec 29, 2009 4:27:05 PM

Yes, I heard Jimmy speak about his annoyance about the media treating WorldNet Daily Seriously, but WND is the house organ of the Lunatic Fringe of the right, if you want to know what the Lunatic fringe is talking about you read WND.

My solution is to ask CPAC for their money back and maybe sponsor events that are more inclusive such as maybe Young Republican national conventions or events at local universities as a start.

Posted by: Matt from California | Dec 29, 2009 4:53:12 PM

I hope Mr. LaSalvia will have an opportunity to say hello to Maggie Gallagher, Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly and all of the other attendees who work diligently to ensure he remains devoid of even the most basic legal protections.

Posted by: Mark | Dec 29, 2009 9:23:06 PM

Does that mean, by contributing votes and campaign cash to democrats, gays therefore support DADT and DOMA? Do gay leftists oppose gay marriage and support the states' rights to decide on civil unions or not as Obama and Hillary (supposedly) do?

Perhaps the gay left supports groups like Fist Youth who describe themselves as "a national group of young activists committed to fighting racism, sexism, the oppression of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people...". They seem to fancy Che Guevara, never mind that gays were among the people he slaughtered. Fisting, btw, would appear to be a favorite hobby of Kevin Jennings. All sorts of connections can be made.

Posted by: ThatGayConservative | Jan 1, 2010 1:16:06 AM

BTW, I like that GLSEN "Teach Respect" ad you have there. I guess it's easier to learn respect with Kevin Jennings' hand up your arse (literally).

Posted by: ThatGayConservative | Jan 2, 2010 5:50:53 AM

GayCon: If you wanna use "fisting" as an indictment of Jennings, then go ahead. But it's going to speak more to your reliance on far-right misinformation -- the same far right misinformation that would have you unequal or "changed" at best, jailed or deported at worst -- than it will to Jennings' or others progressives' moral characters.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jan 2, 2010 10:33:17 AM

GOProud is nuts for aligning itself with CPAC from this heterosexual female's viewpoint. IMHO, it's akin to willingly walking into a pit of vipers and not expecting to be bitten on sight. And besides, who in their right mind could stomach Palin, Farah, Bachmann or any of the other nutsos for 60 seconds? CPAC will accept GOProud's money and use it to campaign against them getting their constitutionally guaranteed rights. Very stupid. The CPACers will never fully accept them.

Posted by: majii | Jan 4, 2010 7:54:08 PM

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