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Here we go again.

It seems to happen every year now when the Conservative Political Action Conference rolls around.

A controversy that should never be at an annual event for conservatives rears its ugly head.

What is it?

It’s whether faux conservative groups of homosexuals that support same-sex marriage should be permitted to sponsor the event.

It all began a few years ago when the American Conservative Union decided to allow GOProud to sponsor CPAC. The decision nearly ripped the organization apart until a change in leadership was forced, the entire staff of ACU was turned over and a new policy prohibiting groups like GOProud from sponsorship was established.

This year, CPAC invited political commentator S.E. Cupp to speak at the event. Now everyone knows Cupp is no conservative. She is a flaming libertarian and an atheist. Her viewpoints are well-known to conservatives at CPAC, but they invited her anyway.

So what did she do?

She embarrassed CPAC by declining the invitation publicly until the group allows sponsorship by organizations like GOProud.

“I go to CPAC every year,” she said. “I love speaking there. It’s a great opportunity for conservatives, young and old from all over the world, to get together and sort of touch base,” she told a welcome audience at MSNBC – hardly known for its conservative guests, audience or hosts. “I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I know a lot of people on my side of the aisle have been struggling with this for some time now, too. I’ve been scheduled to speak at CPAC this year, and I don’t think I can until this issue is reconciled and figured out.”

Hey, S.E.! It has been figured out. CPAC had a civil war over this issue, and your side lost.

What is conservative about advocating for same-sex marriage?

I can’t think of an issue that more clearly defines what a conservative is than this one.

This is not the Libertarian Political Action Conference. It’s not the Liberal Political Action Conference. It’s the Conservative Political Action Conference. What’s wrong with limiting the speakers and the sponsors to conservatives?

Why is S.E. Cupp even invited to speak?

I don’t get it.

The new leadership of the ACU pledged to turn the page on this issue and did. But it does itself no earthly good inviting speakers who are going to attempt to humiliate the organization like this.

This little brouhaha with Cupp comes at the same time dozens of Republicans – including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress – have signed a legal brief arguing in favor of same-sex marriage.

The document will be submitted this week to the Supreme Court in support of a suit seeking to strike down Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage, and all similar bans. The court will hear back-to-back arguments next month in that case and another pivotal gay-rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Who are these people?

  • Meg Whitman
  • Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York
  • Stephen J. Hadley, a Bush national security adviser
  • Carlos Gutierrez, a commerce secretary to Bush
  • James B. Comey, a Bush Justice Department official
  • David A. Stockman, President Reagan’s disgraced first budget director
  • Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership from Ohio who is retired from Congress

What do all these people have in common?

They are not conservatives.

Neither is Cupp.

Neither is Clint Eastwood, though I like some of his movies.

What could be simpler?

The Conservative Political Action Conference is for conservatives – not for people who seek to undermine the Judeo-Christian basis of Western civilization with one of the most radical ideas considered since child sacrifice.

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