GOProud Snaps Up Invitation to Return to CPAC

Conservative gay group GOProud is suddenly being welcomed back to CPAC after years of exclusion, the National Review reports:

GoproudTwo former GOProud summer interns, Ross Hemminger and Matt Bechstein, took over last summer and sought to repair the bitterly frayed relationship. Under a compromise reached last week, they will attend the March 6-8 gathering as guests, without sponsorship or a booth. GOProud sees the lower-profile role as an important first step.

"We really just want to be part of the conservative movement," said Hemminger, a veteran of the losing Senate campaigns by Scott Brown and Gabriel Gomez in Massachusetts. "We want to establish a fruitful and respectful relationship."

Dan Schneider, executive director of the ACU, praised the GOProud directors for their "new vision" of promoting conservative principles from gun rights to opposition to abortion.

"We welcome GOProud's attendance at this year's CPAC conference," Schneider said in an e-mail. "I believe their presence could help establish a productive relationship in the future."

LasalviaFormer GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia, who left the Republican Party this year, doubts this represents the kind of changes they're trumpeting:

"There has been no change in the ACU's policy since 2011," LaSalvia said in an e-mail. "There likely won't be real change at the ACU until their old, out-of-touch leadership retires."

Former GOProud Chair Chris Barron still has a bad taste in his mouth as well:

"If I was still running GOProud," he told me, "I wouldn't accept a three-fifths invitation to CPAC."

Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union which runs CPAC, told the group in 2011 that they were welcome to come so long as they drop all support for gay rights measures.

This year, Cardenas says:

"CPAC is about finding conservative solutions to every challenge in America and not just saying 'no.; We're determined to win the majority of American support."


  1. Joel says

    Please guys! They want to be Republicans so that they can be respectable! Not like those nasty Democrats who associate with the common people.

    Give them some credit.

  2. Vegas Dave says

    Pathetic! Self-loathing Gays crawling at the feet of their GOP masters for the chance to lick up a few crumbs that fall on the floor.

    They hate us. As long as the Tea Baggers are calling the shots, they will always hate us. You were only invited back because there are no major Black or Latino Republican groups to showcase how “Inclusive” they are.

  3. jamal49 says

    “We just really want to be a part of the conservative movement.” So says CPAC boot-licker Ross Hemminger. Ross, honey, what “conservative movement” are you referring to?

    Conservatism in America died a long time ago. It has been replaced by a group of proudly racist, homophobic, seditious malcontents who openly advocate the overthrow of the government of the United States. Their stated goal is to establish a corporate theocracy.

    Enjoy your observer status at CPAC, Ross. I’m sure there will be enough self-loathing, closeted queens for you to pal around with.

  4. StevyD says

    WhoreProud, for that is all GoProud is, offering their wares in the back alleys of CPAC, neither requiring a private space to ply their trade, or respect from the Johns who use them only for a quicky vote and then kick them back to the gutter.

  5. dana says

    For anyone who grew up in a conservative church, this approach by CPAC is in-line with modern christian fundamentalist thought. Gays can sit in the pew as long as they remain silent, refrain from discussing their orientation, and absolutely take no leadership position. Having GOProud at the convention makes them feel ‘good’ because it shows (to them) that they’re not really ‘anti-gay’just ‘anti- gay agenda’. It bolsters their attendance numbers, and it gives them a political platform (look at us!) to use to further their ‘anti-gay-agenda’ agenda.

  6. says

    “you can attend, but know that we hate you. you can sit in the back, by yourselves, and silently watch us”

    funny – gay conservatives often mock “liberal tolerance” – thing is, i don’t know any true liberals that talk about, or aim for, “tolerance” – as we can see, “tolerance” is (all that) gay *conservatives* aim for – because they can’t get actual acceptance and support. *just* tolerance. conditional tolerance.

    wake up boys.

  7. Jon says

    Yet again the Towleroad message board community is ALL spun up in a tizzy. It’s so predictable. Of course, that’s what the Democratic political machine counts on….

Leave A Reply