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New CPAC Leader Already Turning Back On GOProud

Cpaclogo The gay conservatives of GOProud shouldn't get too comfortable at CPAC, because the newly selected chair of the American Conservative Union, which organizes the right wing gathering, has already started distancing himself from the group.

Al Cardenas, who replaced David Keene as Chair of the ACU this week, sat down for an interview with FrumForum today and lamented GOProud's public quarrels with anti-gay conservative groups, such as Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation.


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.

 Cardenas went on to say that it would be "difficult" for his organization to keep working with GOProud "because of their behavior and attitude."

Cardenas' comments were in direct response to an interview Christopher Barron, the Chairman of GOProud's board, and Jimmy LaSalvia, the group's executive director, did with LGBT publication Metro Weekly, in which Barron blamed ACU Foundation chairman Cleta Mitchell for divisive arguments among the conservative camp.

Read more about GOProud's tenuous relationship with CPAC, AFTER THE JUMP...

"I think there's a couple people in Heritage who, at the behest of Cleta Mitchell – who is just a nasty bigot … she got some of the people at Heritage early on fired up about this," Barron said in the interview, which was published this week.

Barron has since apologized, telling FrumForum, "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."

He continued, "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."

An apology may not be good enough to sooth over tensions, though, because Cardenas doesn't seem that into the idea of gay inclusion, anyway.

"[Keene] invited these folks in an effort to be inclusive," Cardenas explained."Having friends of ours leaving… presents difficulties to me. There’s always going to be some tension, [but] there should never be any tension between time-tested values.”

Cardenas also insisted true blue conservatives can't support marriage equality: "Not a Ronald Reagan conservative… I will say this: we adopted a resolution unanimously at ACU advocating traditional marriage between a man and a woman, so that answers how we feel on the issue."

If Cardenas has already come out against GOProud, their future relationship with CPAC looks pretty grim.

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  1. I guess that starts to answer the question, "When the chips are down, who will the Conservatives choose? Conservative gays or the religious nutjobs who will continue to support heterosexual conservatives' homophobia with poor science?"

    A pity.

    Posted by: Luminum | Feb 10, 2011 8:35:38 PM

  2. It's not like we didn't warn them this would happen.

    Posted by: homer | Feb 10, 2011 8:39:55 PM

  3. ha ha, they're about to be kicked to the curb and into the gutter where they belong. so sorry.

    Posted by: fred | Feb 10, 2011 8:46:23 PM

  4. So sad, it really is a pity, but I expected as much.

    Posted by: Ealan75 | Feb 10, 2011 8:47:51 PM

  5. This is the anti-gay version of "uppidy n*ggers causing trouble".

    How can anyone not see the similarities between homophobia and racism?

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Feb 10, 2011 8:59:03 PM

  6. Seriously, GOProud, there are easier (and more enjoyable) ways to be a driveling boot-licking masochist than trolling for places like CPAC and Ann Coulter to constantly use you, humiliate you, and publicly abuse you. Like, find a nice, hot leather daddy with a dungeon. I'm just sayin'.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Feb 10, 2011 9:36:23 PM

  7. Shorter version: "We won't work with those perverts if they don't stop calling people names."

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 10, 2011 9:40:46 PM

  8. Instead of trying to change the republicans from the inside out--which will never, ever happen--why not work as dems and try to change them from the inside out?

    It just seems sad for them to try and change something that is not only not changeable, but hates them for who they are.

    Posted by: dms | Feb 10, 2011 9:41:17 PM

  9. Poor things. Trying to be a useful idiot just isn't as easy as it used to be.

    Posted by: Kugel | Feb 10, 2011 10:05:53 PM

  10. "taunting organizations [hate groups] that are respected in our movement and part of our movement"

    There you have it. CPAC leader says hate groups are a respected part of the conservative/GOP movement.

    No self respecting lgbt or lgbt supporter should ever support them, vote for them, contribute to them, or defend them. END OF DISCUSSION.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Feb 10, 2011 10:14:54 PM

  11. This is getting way too much attention. I don't understand the thrill, and all the predictable responses to these idiots. And CPAC? Oy...yeah, that really matters.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 10, 2011 10:26:13 PM

  12. Nah nah nah nah nah nah...nah nah nah nah nah nah. YOU WERE WARNED!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Feb 10, 2011 10:42:14 PM

  13. @Ravewulf,

    I was about to say the same thing. Best for GOProud to stay away. Wait for CPAC to distance itself from these hate groups. That may take decades, though.

    Posted by: Adrian | Feb 10, 2011 10:49:33 PM

  14. Republicans have allowed themselves to be hijacked by the radical religious right. They will never have any credibility unless they distance themselves from these theocrats. Therefore, GOProud will never be a part of any conservative political movement, and the way that they've slammed their progressive brothers in arms, they will never be a part of the progressive political movement. They've made their proverbial bed, and now we all get to watch them lie in it - alone.

    Posted by: Tre | Feb 10, 2011 11:27:14 PM

  15. Cry me a river!

    GOProud deserves no sympathy what so ever. They are not concerned about gay rights in the least, just their bank accounts. They will humiliate themselves just to show "those gay liberals" their "independence." They will campaign to get rid of gay friendly democrats if it means more money for themselves.

    GOProud will never realize they're just the freaky side show of the conservative movement and will never be accepted. They have a lot of self-hate issues. Someone call shrink!

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Feb 11, 2011 1:12:58 AM

  16. I like watching news about gay conservative groups in my own sort of sadomasochistic way. It's bizarre, kind of perverse, and a lot of fun.

    And I support them. I'm disturbed by other commenters who say that conservatives can never change. Those commenters, though they believe themselves to be progressives, sound very conservative! I believe progressivism is about change and progress, and that all people can change for the better if they think rationally and learn to apply critical inquiry.

    And I believe that visibility and coming out is one of the best ways to achieve this for gays. If GOProud is just there, then hopefully more reasonable straight conservatives (yes, they exist) will realize that there's nothing to be bothered about and that gay people are just normal people like them. It's possible. It's already happened in Western Europe, where conservative parties have embraced gays and win their votes more than the liberal parties do, and that's made the lives of gay people better.

    Posted by: Xtab | Feb 11, 2011 1:23:17 AM

  17. And to prove it, just the fact that GOProud has a booth at CPAC is a sign that conservatives are capable of change. We'll see if it lasts! But twenty years ago it would have been out of the question.

    Posted by: Xtab | Feb 11, 2011 1:26:26 AM

  18. i'm sure barron will blame the dems

    Posted by: r | Feb 11, 2011 3:19:58 AM

  19. Color me shocked.

    Posted by: Sgt.Sausagepants | Feb 11, 2011 3:59:26 AM

  20. What was the old saying? O yeah,It goes like this 'Lie down with dogs,wake up with fleas.

    Posted by: joebatch | Feb 11, 2011 5:08:33 AM

  21. "And to prove it, just the fact that GOProud has a booth at CPAC is a sign that conservatives are capable of change."

    No it isn't; the LCR had been tactily welcomed since at least Bob Dole's campaign in '95. Hell, before religious mania started really gripping the United States in the early 80s, gays were relatively tolerated within the Republican Party.

    And that's the fundamental mistake underlying GOProud, and it's an amusing mistake for a conservative organization to make. Gay Republicans assume that there will be progress on certain civil rights issues, even while they embrace a regressive mandate as a whole. And even the ones in GOProud who are less ambitious - the ones who are primarily interested in tax cuts and hating on liberals for hate's sake - are going to be openly attacked by conservative leaders to an increasing frequency. Because the more change that progressives and sensible gay conservatives make (and there are sensible gay conservatives - they're the ones who realize that the Republican Party has no place for them), the more reactionary the Republican establishment will be, if only to boost their credentials and retain the social conservative rump.

    Posted by: Zach | Feb 11, 2011 5:58:39 AM

  22. Some of the most vividly right wing people I know are gay, both out and closeted.

    Reconciling right wing economic and social views with gay orientation was always going to be difficult when the GOP had been hijacked thirty years ago by the religeous right.

    It is interesting watching these gay reps try but to be honest one fears that htey are fighting a lost battle. The GOP hierachy knows that to maintain its mass support base (necessary in a functioning democracy) it needs popularist vote winners like the chritian right and Tea Party crowd.

    Most of the rich blue bloods running the GOP couldn't care less about who people sleep with, frankly all they case about is money and power, but if gay bashing is what keeps the little folk voting for their party then they will keep in with the religeous and social conservatives and that means showing the gays the door.

    Posted by: arch | Feb 11, 2011 6:14:10 AM

  23. Good thread and great comments.

    @Tampazeke- Pretty much.

    But I'm still of the mind that GOProud are useful idiots, though

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Feb 11, 2011 6:58:26 AM

  24. This is what happens when you choose to be a part of an association, which thrives on hating who you are.

    Posted by: Sarina | Feb 11, 2011 7:51:28 AM

  25. What Bobby Joe said.

    Posted by: wimsy | Feb 11, 2011 11:21:57 AM

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