Wing Nut World Net Daily, the controversy over GOProud‘s participation at CPAC, sparked by social cons objecting to their presence, has brought a mixed response from conference organizers. While GOProud is being allowed to participate, including having a booth at the conference, it appears that they are not being allowed any kind of speaking role:
[American Conservative Union chief David] 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.”
In the December 8th announcement of GOProud’s co-sponsorship of CPAC, Executive Director Jimmy La Salvia stated the following:
This gathering of the nation’s most influential conservatives gives us an incredible opportunity to deliver our message. 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.
With the ACU appearing to cave-in partially at least to social con pressure, how exactly is GOProud planning on “delivering their message”? How is the participation of a muzzled GOProud at CPAC any different than that of the Log Cabin Republicans over the previous few years? A different name slapped on the booth? A better spot amongst the “cool kids”?
I trust that GOProud will respond to Mr. Keene’s announced muzzling of their group and explain what exactly they hope to accomplish that makes this worth it. Right now I must say that I remain skeptical that this is anything more than a dog-and-pony show: CPAC gets to trot out the conservative/libertarian gays when needed to allay any concerns of anti-gay bigotry the general public might have about the GOP, while slapping a muzzle on them when the social cons start getting queasy about queers forgetting their place. Certainly my skepticism is misplaced here, no? We shall see…
– John (Average Gay Joe)
[UPDATE from Bruce (GayPatriot): I see that Jimmy LaSalvia has added a comment to this posting and I've also been in communication with Chris Barron, Chairman of GOProud, today about this issue. Chris tells me the following: "We haven't been muzzled at all by CPAC. No one has told us that there are things we can't talk about and no decisions have been made about speakers."
I should note for the record that I am the Treasurer of GOProud.]