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Over CPAC-shun: Outright hostile vs. begrudgingly quasi-tolerant

by Jeremy Hooper

The homo-hostile far-righters are increasing their attacks against the Conservative Political Action Conference, for the sole reason that CPAC is allowing gay group GOProud to serve as a co-sponsor. And frankly, the internal sniping is fun to watch.

But as the more heated foes of the 'mos go back and forth about the group's supposed lack of worthiness by virtue of the members' sexual orientations, the even more fundamental flaw in the GOProud sponsorship plan is emerging. That basic flaw: That CPAC is really no place for a gay group with "proud" in their name!

Why do we say this? Well here, check out these snippets from an email that WorldNetDaily has posted:

In his e-mail response, [David Keene, the chief of the American Conservative Union] 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."
But Keene's e-mail defended the agreement, explaining GOProud's "interest is in demonstrating that not all gays are liberals rather than promoting their life style.

"Their group broke away from the Log Cabin Republicans a few years ago because they thought the LC folks were too liberal on other issues (taxes, spending, national defense and guns)," Keene wrote.

"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.
Conservatives alarmed by 'gay' sponsorship of CPAC [WND]

So basically, presuming WorldNetDaily's presentation of this email is accurate, Mr. Keene is saying that there will be no discussion of matters like marriage equality. This even though GOProud's fellow sponsors include groups like the National Organization For Marriage, whose sole conversation will be about the denial of same-sex unions! So what, pro-gays aren't allowed to push back against the supposed "consensus"?! They are allowed to join a big tent, just as long as they don't indicate a desire to throw a wedding reception under one? Forget being gay for a second -- what sort of politico would even go along with such a limitation?

Oh, and GOProud is acceptable to Mr. Keene because they are not "promoting their life style"?! When exactly did one's in-born truth become a "life style" while their political affiliations became non-CPACnegotiable truths?!

No, no, no, no! The truth, of course, is that the matter of LGBT's people worth is not open for debate! But that is EXACTLY what Mr. Keene is presenting as a contentious issue. And GOProud is going right along with this idea, signing on to a set of rules that allows any and everyone (NOM, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women For America, etc.) to show up and bash LGBT people's lives and loves for sport, yet wants GOProud to serve only as some sort of pretty ornamental piece that'll help prove to conservatives that not all gays are liberals. There is no way for CPAC to defend these offensive positions. There is no way for GOProud to defend this sponsorship!

The dissension in the social conservatives' ranks is like a sitcom ("The 'fraidy Bunch"? "The Skewed Adventures of Old Christians"? "Cougar (who eats his own) Town"?), one that we watch with both interest and amusement. But the idea that there are LGBT brothers and sisters who are willing to overlook CPAC's own dissension with the gay "life style"? Well we find that the opposite of funny.

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Your thoughts

Time for some wedge politics. I can't imagine it would be too hard to split the socon fundies from the libertarians (who after all want their hookers and blow), and from the Moar War neocons.

Posted by: marsmannetje | Dec 23, 2009 12:58:09 PM

Who voluntarily tries to become an ATM for an party/group that openly verbally and physically bashes them?

Posted by: Daimeon | Dec 23, 2009 1:08:15 PM

Does anyone know just how large this group is? My girlfriend considers herself a staunch conservative, but I find it difficult to believe she'd willingly attend something akin to this and just sit back without voicing her dissent on certain matters. Even within parties, there are disagreements about certain central issues. This just boggles the mind 1) how CPAC thinks they can silence a political view different from their own on ONE ISSUE while allowing others to speak their mind about that VERY SAME ISSUE freely, and 2) how GOProud is fine with this.

Are there truly LGBT people out there who DON'T want equal recognition under the laws of the federal government and their respective states? I have to imagine there are. I just find it difficult to understand why, I suppose. Is it really just fear of abandonment by their party of choice that leads them to imply that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice rather than genetic, or am I just simply missing something entirely?

Posted by: Aya | Dec 23, 2009 1:26:02 PM

Personally, I find that this kind of compartmentalism such as GOProud displays is a form of mental illness.

Posted by: Mykelb | Dec 23, 2009 2:01:52 PM

Stockholm Syndrome? Just a guess.

Posted by: marsmannetje | Dec 24, 2009 10:07:40 AM

Aya: There is some deep-seated psychological self-loathing that remains a part of a person when s/he is told from the time they can understand words that GLBTs are worthless sinners. It takes some people a life-time to get over the shame and guilt associated with this psychological/religious torture. Fortunately, it is not as wide-spread as it used to be and organizations are in place to ameliorate the damage done to young people, GLSEN being one of them. However, families still throw out their GLBT kids into the streets, abuse them, put them in ex-gay christian counseling and generally psychologically strip them of their basic drive, that of loving someone whom their parent don't approve. The notion that one's sexual orientation is mutable is a myth that the Christians and Conservatives in America perpetuate in order to hold onto their 2000 year old belief system, GLBT people be damned. These folks are an anachronistic, deluded, unscientific lot. They hate us because of their inability to think critically and scientifically and value "faith" over scientific evidence.

Posted by: Mykelb | Dec 25, 2009 5:24:24 AM

There are many lesbian and gay conservatives within the community, although their voices are seldom heard. Gee, I wonder why? After reading some of the comments, it's obvious that the self-hating psycho babble and the us-vs-them mentality hasn't changed much. Where do you think any of that gets us? With the recent defeats of gay marriage in Maine and New York and with gay marriage support stagnating, even in very liberal New Jersey, don't you think it's time for a change in perspective here?

The very fact that GOProud was accepted as a co-sponsor for CPAC is a huge victory. The conservative movement is multi-faceted and GOProud's victory is indicative of that. Instead of casting snide aspersions at conservative lesbians and gays who take our struggle into the trenches, you should be giving us a vote of thanks.

Posted by: LesbianOutsider | Dec 27, 2009 11:10:53 AM

LO: Even many LGBT Republicans/conservatives are critical of GOProud.

What we are dealing with here is a situation where a gay-identified group has signed on to co-sponsor a conference alongside groups like Focus on the Family, National Org. For Marriage, Concerned Women For America, etc. According to CPAC organizers, they (GOProud) will be muzzled from actively campaigning for pro-LGBT measures that go against the Republican "consensus" (i.e. just about all LGBT measures), while the aforementioned groups will be as free as they want to bash equality. Hell, groups like NOM have no other purpose BUT that!!

This is not a simple matter of LGBT conservatives vs. LGBT progressives. AT ALL. There are several other issues at work. You may stand with GOProud. But it is completely unfair to act as if this decision should be immune from scrutiny/criticism.

That being said: We will of course defend GOProud against folks like Peter LaBarbera, who act as if GOProud should be actively barred because of their sexual orientations. Because obviously they should be FREE to sponsor this, if they so choose. But we will make no apologies about criticizing the choice.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 27, 2009 11:31:22 AM

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