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Audio: GOProud's mere presence incites battle of the boos

by Jeremy Hooper

What happens when one acknowledges gay conservative group GOProud from the #CPAC10 stage? Alexander McCobin tests the waters:

What happens when one condemns gay conservative group GOProud from the #CPAC10 stage? Overheated anti-gay Ryan Sorba tests those waters:

Meanwhile, neither side can get the group's name right. Poor gay conservatives -- we imagine they must feel like the Rodney Dangerfields of this movement.

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Your thoughts

can't say I feel all that sorry for GoProud. as my mother told me "You made your bed, now lie in it."

Posted by: keltic | Feb 19, 2010 5:10:13 PM


This is much, much better than a battle of the boos. It sounds to me that something like 90% of the people there were applauding the pro-GOPAC young man and about the same percentage were booing the dullard in the second clip. This is at CPAC, what should be one of the most intolerant conventions imaginable. This is really a good sign. Not to say that CPAC is pro-gay by any means, but it clearly shows that the religious right has utterly failed to make gay rights an untouchable issue and to make gays some sort of arch-bogeyman threatening Western civilization.

Although I don't care for GOPAC, we can never win unless we have support in both parties. We lost marriage in NY and NJ b/c we only got a single GOP state senator in NJ and none in NY to vote with us. If we had gotten just a few, the outcome would have been different.

Posted by: Tom | Feb 19, 2010 5:20:11 PM

Sounded like cheers and jeers were about even.

Posted by: Alonzo | Feb 19, 2010 5:21:03 PM

Tom: Just to be clear: I didn't put any value on the boos either way. Just that there were boos for both sides.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 19, 2010 5:26:14 PM

Wow! There were a couple of very loud anti-gay boooooo-ers, or maybe that was just Matt Blubber's intonations. But what the pro-gay applause lacked in loudness, it certainly made up in numbers. For CPAC, that seems like a step in the right (erh, uhm, correct) direction. And, that is a bit surprising. The loud mouths are drowning out the more moderates everywhere, but maybe not because they out number moderates - they just have gigantic hate spewing mouths. Seems like CPAC pretty much sent them a message, though. And, I for one, am somewhat taken aback. Maybe the conservatives have had enough of the mantra of LGBT hate??

And, Sorba, proved exactly why those in his camp aggressively attack us, it is hate ("you made an enemy out of me, today"), hate, and more hate.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Feb 19, 2010 6:42:37 PM

I absolutely love what GOProud is doing just by being there. I think it's brave of them, and it's important. I think I'd rather send a donatation to GOProud than HRC this year.

Posted by: Mike | Feb 19, 2010 6:47:27 PM

Their decision to co-sponsor remains just as offensive to me today as it did on the day that I heard it. IMHO, they simply cannot justify the decision to sign their name and lend their endorsement right alongside groups like NOM. I stand by my instinctual criticism. I find the sponsorship to be a somewhat hostile act.

That being said: I am liking what their presence is doing. Stirring stuff up. Busting up some old ideals. I always suggested that if they're going to be there, then they should be there for this reason: To challenge what's going on. Forcing others to think (and others like Liberty Counsel to pull out).

But then again, at the same time: There simply should not exist a political party wherein this could even still be considered controversial. Yes, it's "brave" and all that. But it's just bizarre that in 2010, one would have to be considered "brave" to go their own party's conference.

Yes, they garnered some support in this audience today, and that is progress. But look at that video: The majority are sitting on their hands, with some giving Ryan Sorba a standing ovation. Say what you want about progressives, but this simply would not happen at a left-leaning conference. Sorba would never have been given a platform to speak in the first place (his views are fairly well known). But if he had snuck in, the opposition would have been resounding.

I know I'm rambling. I'll just sum up by saying that there's certainly some good to be had, and I certainly hope that if they believe in this particular party this much, that they are reshaping it for the better. But at the same time, let's not forget that this is still the party with a very homo-hostile platform, and a conference where speakers are condemning our rights at a much greater pace than they are supporting them.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 19, 2010 7:15:11 PM

A hostile act, perhaps, but against their disagreement left-wing political philosophy, not the gay community.

CPAC also doesn't represent the Republican Party at large, it's a convention for a sect of very hard-right conservative ideologues. There are critics of it on the right too (this week Joe Scarborough took a licking from the far-right for his criticism of the hyperbole and hysteria rampant at the event.)

In the interest of disclosure, I am a gay Republican, I even serve as a VP of a Young Republican chapter out here in NY. Personally, I wouldn't go anywhere near CPAC. The hostility, anger, and nuttiness from them goes beyond just gay issues. It's not for me, I'm too moderate for them. But I do appreciate GOProud showing those people we don't just have a party of socially conservative wing-nuts.

Posted by: Mike | Feb 19, 2010 8:05:34 PM

It's funny you say that, Mike, b/c I was just listening to Michael Savage who criticized CPAC for being -- wait for it, wait for it -- too moderate. Oy.

In the interest of full disclosure: We love gay Republicans around here. Some of my best friends.... ;-)

But I do think that all gay Republicans have to be honest about their party's current stances. This is why I had such a prob. with Log Cabin during the '08 election (and demanded that they remove me from their blogroll/contacts list/everything): Because they kept misrepresenting John McCain and Sarah Palin's record on certain key things rather than explaining how/why they were personally able to get beyond them. The latter is fine. Lord knows we all have things that we have to look past to support most any political figure in this nation! But when it turns disingenuous is when I disengage.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 19, 2010 8:11:59 PM

I got the feeling they were booing the second one because he was a jackass, not because of any gay/no-gay stance. That's the standard reaction when somebody gets up on stage and talks smack about the people who own the stage.

Also, freedom of opinion, freedom of opinion, freedom of opinion. Way to control the crowd.

Posted by: Matt Algren | Feb 19, 2010 9:03:45 PM

As more fodder for Matt's theory, I'd submit into evidence Lane Hudson at Netroots Nation '09:


You're unlikely to find a crowd that's more supportive of DADT repeal than the NN audience. But I was in that audience: The boos far outweighed the cheers. Even many of Lane's personal friends were highly critical.

So yes, disruptions in general can cause a negative reaction. After all, the first thing Sorba said was "I'd like to condemn CPAC." To a crowd that's wrapped up in conference nuttiness (and you do kind of submit to the process at any of these things), this could've come across like generalized fighting words.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 19, 2010 9:18:10 PM

Very interesting. After listening to both I agree with Tom. I was highly skeptical and critical of GOProud's participation at CPAC and am not yet convinced I was wrong (even though I'd love to be), but I am amazed to see this at CPAC. I'll file this under "encouraging" and see what develops...

Posted by: John | Feb 20, 2010 8:23:27 AM

Sorba and Gallagher do go on and on and on and on and ON about what's natural and results in making babies and what doesn't.
Is there some glitch in their 'natural' brain function that doesn't allow them to remember that:

1. In NO state anywhere in this country, is there a law or should there be to deny equal rights, political access and protections, or allow outright discrimination based on the lack of intention or inability to have children.

2. There are millions of gay adults in fact raising children. And NO CHILD should be discriminated against because of the condition of their parents.

3. Those of US who have no children, are committed voluntarily and INVOLUNTARILY to the general welfare of ALL society through heavier taxation, more material and situational productivity and without EXCEPTION. So to treat gays and lesbians in the public discourse or all the straight folks out there without children as less supportive or able to be of use to society at large is the biggest load of horsesh*t and the worst kind of ungrateful insult that can be fomented.

4. Although much religious belief is tied up in the amorphous and faith based eternal life. The FACT is, mortality is a part of nature. Infertility, mortality, illness and nature's own definition of checks and balances to OVERPOPULATION, are thwarted and redefined all the time.

By way of medical intervention that expands life expectancy, even of those with HIV. That gives women the opportunity to not only extend their years for having babies, but now they can have them by the LITTER. And there is also the factor of using fertility and fecundity as a socio political tool especially against women who, against their better instincts either don't want or shouldn't be mothers.

So this strange obsession with procreative based supremacy is weird and damaging. We see resources, jobs and non polluted water and air, being diminished by a 7 billion and counting world population, most of which is born into poverty, disease and gender based abuses.

That's all Sorba could do, lambaste GOProud for being members of a group that doesn't routinely contribute to the world's populations of unwanted, abused and abandoned children?
Yet ALL OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS are completely ignored, of not resented?

I guess a thank you to all those gays and lesbians whose taxes, political fund raising and visibility AS conservatives for the Repub party won't be forthcoming, right?

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Feb 20, 2010 2:35:05 PM

Geez, what a thug that guy Sorba is.

Posted by: marsmannetje | Feb 20, 2010 3:20:09 PM

Sorba is def. from the Matt Barber/Peter LaBarbera school. The rabidly anti-gay MassResistance was the first group I knew to tout his virtues.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 20, 2010 3:37:09 PM

I've noticed something when conservatives disagree on issues. It's almost as if it's a contest sometimes to see who can out conservative who!

Posted by: Bearchewtoy75 | Feb 21, 2010 2:51:59 PM

Alls I know is that he's giving off a million watts of date rape vibes.

Posted by: marsmannetje | Feb 21, 2010 4:57:24 PM

For what it's worth, the CPACers voted, and only 1% of them consider stopping gay marriage (their verbiage) to be their second highest priority - none of them (by my read of the graph) consider it to be their number 1 priority, and we know NOM was there. It's hard to really read anything into that number, since they have been pretty successful at stopping marriage equality. There are, however, five states (and counting) with marriage equality now, so the issue has to be far from settled even in their minds.

The other striking figure that stands out in this straw poll, is that 48% of the respondents (attendees at CPAC??) were 25 or younger, so as Brian Leubitz points out, while the results may not be representative of the conservatives today, it is somewhat more likely to be representative of them in the future. I did a quick tally, and it looks like 8% of them didn't even vote - maybe they have given up entirely??


Posted by: Dick Mills | Feb 21, 2010 9:19:31 PM

I love how the lady gets up at the end and tries to stop the booing by repeating "freedom of opinion..."

Apparently she didn't realize that the people booing were expressing their freedom of opinion.

Posted by: DN | Feb 22, 2010 9:45:51 AM

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