Friday, January 28, 2011

Gay Group Sparks Boycott of Conference

At New York Times (where else?), "Some Conservatives Boycott Conference Over Gay Group’s Role":

A bitter dispute over whether a gay conservative group should co-sponsor the conservative movement’s largest gathering of the year has led some prominent supporters to withdraw from the event next month.

Riding the winds of success in November’s midterm elections, this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, which is set to begin Feb. 10 in Washington, is expected to draw Republican presidential aspirants like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul as well as thousands of activists.

But some conservative pillars, including church-based groups like the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and Liberty University, and others, like the Heritage Foundation, are refusing to participate. They are angry that the gay organization, GOProud, has been given a seat at the planning table. These groups are implacable opponents of same-sex marriage, which they say GOProud implicitly endorses by saying that the question should be left to the states.

At least one reputed presidential hopeful, Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, has also declined to attend, expressing support for the boycotters.

“GOProud is working to undermine one of our core values,” said Mathew D. Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law. Letting gay men and lesbians attend the conference is one thing, he said, “but they shouldn’t be allowed to be co-sponsors.”
Lots more at the link.

I'm about as conservative as they come on gay marriage, and I never once seriously considered boycotting. I'll be at CPAC, and I'm excited. But I doubt same-sex marriage will be all that pressing. Things are working their way to the Supreme Court, whether Prop. 8 from California or another eventual challenge from elsewhere around the country. Fiscal policy will likely be the dominant theme at the convention, and while social issues are obviously important, I'd be surprised if a new Ryan Sorba-style outburst gained much sympathy.

In any case, see Robert Stacy McCain's essay on this from December: "
Ready for the Best. CPAC. Evah?"