CPAC is conservative. Very, very conservative. And conservative and gay rarely mix. So it should come as no surprise that less than twenty-four hours into his new job as Chairman of the American Conservative Union — the people who produce CPAC each year — Al Cardenas has essentially said that the gay GOP group GOProud isn’t going to be invited to return next year. After seeing many heavy-hitters of the CPAC family refuse to attend this year’s event, because the gay organization would be present, Cardenas told FrumForum, “it’s going to be difficult to continue the relationship [with GOProud] because of their behavior and attitude” – but, of course, not because they’re gay. Well, sort of, well, no, not really, well, OK, yes.
Tim Mak at FrumForum explains:
“I have been disappointed with their website and their quotes in the media, taunting organizations that are respected in our movement and part of our movement, and that’s not acceptable. And that puts them in a difficult light in terms of how I view things,” said Cardenas.
“GOProud had asserted that Cleta Mitchell, the chairman of the ACU Foundation, was pushing conservative groups and individuals to boycott CPAC because of GOProud’s inclusion. Chris Barron, the chairman of GOProud, recently said in an interview that Mitchell was “a nasty bigot.”
“Asked for GOProud’s response, the group’s chairman apologized for his comments about Cleta Mitchell.
“For the past six months, we have watched as unfair and untrue attacks have been leveled against our organization, our allies, our friends and sometimes even their families. Everyone has their breaking point and clearly in my interview with Metro Weekly I had reached mine. I shouldn’t have used the language that I did to describe Cleta Mitchell and for that I apologize,” said Chris Barron.
“Asked about whether he values a big tent approach to conservatism, Cardenas said that he did – but that his vision applied principally to reaching out to different minorities and ethnic groups.
“There are not enough African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities here. That diversity is critical – you don’t need to change your value system to attract more diversity into the movement… [but] I’m not going to – for the sake of being inclusive – change the principles that have made the movement what it is,” said Cardenas.”
It would appear that CPAC is looking to drop its support of GOProud not only because they’re gay, but because of how GOProud’s executive leadership behaves toward those with whom they disagree. Many right-wing bigots and their organizations, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council, Senator Jim DeMint, and other Republican heavyweights decided to not attend, because of GOProud’s presence.
Last month, Chris Baron lashed out via Twitter and said, “The gay left = the American Taliban. Hateful, angry and dumb as shit.”
Perhaps GOProud may one day learn that when you set yourself up to represent a small group of people, and rub elbows with those who are morally opposed to you, being nice goes a long way.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.