Following GOProud's invitation to participate in the annual conservative conference CPAC, many social conservatives objected, with several groups--including the Heritage Foundation and the Media Research Center--vowing to boycott the event, in part because of gay conservative group's inclusion. As CPAC begins, many in the right-wing media have taken sides against GOProud.
Several Right-Wing Organizations Have Boycotted CPAC Over GOProud's Sponsorship
Social Conservative Groups Boycott CPAC Over GOProud Sponsorship. Following news that the gay conservative group GOProud would be a sponsor of CPAC, several conservative groups announced that they will be boycotting the conference. According to Slate, these groups include both social conservative groups such as the Family Research Council, and general conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation. Additionally, the Media Research Council's Brent Bozell announced his organization would be boycotting, claiming "We've been there 25 years, since our inception. To bring in a 'gay' group is a direct attack on social conservatives, and I can't participate in that." [Slate, 01/07/11, 02/08/11]
Right-Wing Media Claim GOProud Is "Not ...Conservative" And "Seek[s] To Brainwash America's Youth"
Washington Times Op-Ed: GOProud "Seek[s] To Brainwash America's Youth." In a February 9 Washington Times op-ed titled, "Defend CPAC from phony conservatives," Scott Magill, executive director of Veterans in Defense of Liberty, called GOProud and the American Conservative Union "enemies of the American tradition." Magill further stated that GOProud "seek[s] to brainwash America's youth through the school system by inserting favorable references to homosexuality in the curriculum as early as kindergarten." Magill claimed "Our group is going to CPAC to fulfill our sworn and solemn oath to 'defend and protect the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.' Unfortunately, the nation's pre-eminent grass-roots conservative gathering has become a showcase for the enemies of the American tradition." [Washington Times, 02/09/11]
Erickson: "GOProud Is Not A Conservative Organization." In a February 10 post on Red State, Erick Erickson claimed that GOProud "is not a conservative organization" and criticized GOProud co-founder Chris Barron for calling conservative lawyer Cleta Mitchell a "bigot." From Red State:
I have, for me, shown an amazing amount of restraint in keeping my mouth shut on an issue about which I can stay silent no longer -- GOProud and CPAC.
Those groups and people who have sat out CPAC this year have done so not because they hate the gays, as Grover Norquist and GOProud would have you believe, but because GOProud is not a conservative organization and its agenda is not a conservative agenda.
For that, they are called losers and nasty bigots.
These losers and nasty bigots have done a lot more for the conservative movement than GOProud. And I am very happy to call them my friends.
This week, I'd much rather be with them than be at CPAC. [Red State, 02/10/11]
Red State: "Gays Now Seeking To Disrupt Conservatives." In a February 9 Red State.com post, contributor Nikitas3 argued that, "[t]he gay power movement has made many advances in the last 20 years and now it is seeking to disrupt the conservative movement," by participating in GOProud. From the post:
If GOProud were really interested in conservative values - which it is not - it would not allow its group presence to disrupt the CPAC conference as it is doing. Homosexuals and lesbians would simply attend the conference quietly as individuals without pushing their identity.
But homosexuality is NOT a conservative agenda item so therefore GOProud as a group should not be embraced by CPAC. It is a liberal agenda item that activist gays now want to insert into the conservative movement.
And if some conservatives say that we should court the gay vote and should accept GOProud, they have it backwards. Because homosexuals need the conservative agenda of growth and freedom much more than we need to court gay votes. And they are welcome to our ideas. But they are not welcome to bully us and inject themselves into our agenda which is focused on the well-being of the nation, not on special rights for special groups. [RedState.com, 2/7/11]