Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A campaign is being assembled to demand that the American Conservative Union, whose annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington draws the biggest names of the movement, reject a sponsorship from a homosexual activist group.
“CPAC’s tenuous’ Big Tent’ could collapse altogether as social conservatives led by Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber threaten to launch a boycott of the conference … unless CPAC drops a homosexual activist group, GOProud, as a co-sponsor,” says Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.
He started out by taking his concerns directly to David Keene, the chief of the American Conservative Union.
“I have broadcast from CPAC as a talk show host for years. It’s been a win-win. I give you great publicity for South Texas and I get great guests,” he wrote in an e-mail. “But now this weird turn of events. Why would you allow a pro-homosexual organization to come on as a co-sponsor?”
He asked Keene for an on-air interview.
“If it’s true, I presume you believe it’s worth defending. And if you’ve changed your mind, I know my listeners would be glad to hear that.”
In his e-mail response, Keene 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.”
CPAC offices were closed for the holidays, so WND could not obtain subsequent comment.
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.
“GOProud describes itself as ‘the only national organization for gay conservatives and their allies,’ but we at AFTAH dispute their definition of ‘conservative,’” LaBarbera said, urging constituents to call or write Keene.
“Urge Keene to drop GOProud as a CPAC co-sponsor because GOProud supports the same radical homosexualist agenda as other GLBT organizations – which is corrupting children and tearing apart America’s moral fiber,” he wrote.
He cited the list of sponsors for the coming conference, scheduled Feb. 18-20, including Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Focus on the Family Action, Freedom Alliance and the Heritage Foundation.
Barber had written, “Among other things, GOProud advocates in favor of both ‘gay marriage’ and ‘civil unions,’ against pro-marriage constitutional amendments; is pushing for the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and advocates in favor of federal ‘partnership benefits’ for homosexuals.”
“This group is pushing a radical leftist agenda that is an affront to the GOP platform, conservatism and, most importantly, the Word of God,” he said.
GOProud stated on its website, “GOProud, the only national organization for gay conservatives and their allies, announced they are a cosponsor of PAC 2010. Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud’s executive director, said, ‘GOProud is thrilled to be a cosponsor of the single most important conservative gathering in the country.’”
“GOProud looks forward to continuing to work with the conservative movement to promote policies that will improve the lives of all Americans – including gays and lesbians,” LaSalvia said.
“I would have thought the American Conservative Union would have had a higher standard for groups that cosponsor their pivotal annual event,” McManus told WND. “If there’s one time when conservatives need to be getting their message right and need to be clear about what they believe, it’s right now amidst the Obama socialist push.”