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Panel on Gay Conservatives Includes No Gay American Conservatives

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:40 am - February 17, 2010.
Filed under: Ex-Conservatives,GOProud

The Cato Institute has long been my favorite Washington D.C.-based think tank.  I don’t always agree with them on foreign policy, but do appreciate their commitment to freedom and their promotion of policies which seek to reduce the influence of the government in our lives.  When possible, I support their efforts, having given more to them than to any other policy organization in our nation’s capital.  And I appreciate the respect they show their donors.

Thus, I was disappointed to read that an event they are sponsoring, Is There a Place for Gay People in Conservatism and Conservative Politics?, does not include a single gay American conservative. Given that the lead panelist, Nick Herbert, who, we know from his very title, (MP [Member of Parliament], Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Conservative Party, United Kingdom) has experience working with a right-of-center party across the pond, you’ve got to wonder why they didn’t include someone who has had similar experience over here.

Instead, they’ve got someone who has spent the last six years (well, it will be six years a week from today) badmouthing the GOP.  Yes, that would be Andrew Sullivan.  Given that they’re holding this policy forum on the eve of CPAC that GOProud (which bills itself as representing “gay conservatives and their allies“) is sponsoring and where my co-blogger is speaking, they could easily find someone working within the conservative movement, someone who would have a less jaundiced view of American conservatives in general and the GOP in particular.

Now, this one panel won’t dampen my overall enthusiasm for Cato and their work, but it does call into question their judgment.  It’s as if they were caught in a time warp and were looking at an early 1990s roster of out gay conservatives.  That list has grown considerably since then.  And despite his claims, Andrew Sullivan’s name is no longer on it.



  1. there’s no denying the list of conservatives of lgbt persuasion has increased since the 1990’s (thank you jesus!) but i don’t know that anyone who bad-mouths the gop automatically sees his/her conservative credentials disqualified; and i’m curious to know why anyone would argue that.

    [Fair point, criticism of the GOP alone does not mean one is not a conservative. It’s not that he badmouths the GOP automatically, it’s that Sullivan does it as if by rote. And rarely shows any understand of any conservatives. And that he hasn’t participated in any conservative or GOP organization in America. –Dan]

    if that were true, would it also apply to people on the left such as john avarosis who have badmouthed both the democratic party and democratic party lap dogs (e.g. the hrc)?

    Comment by daftpunkydavid — February 17, 2010 @ 5:07 am - February 17, 2010

  2. I hope you will forward your post to CATO. They need to know how gay conservatives feel about their “gay conservative” event. You’re right on the money. Sullivan has no business being on that panel. I’m sure he’s still gay, but he can hardly still be called anything close to conservative. Having him represent gay conservatives is a major faux pax on CATO’s part.

    [Done. Sent this post to a friend at Cato as soon as I posted it. –Dan]

    Comment by American Elephant — February 17, 2010 @ 7:17 am - February 17, 2010

  3. One has to behave like a conservative to actually have conservative credentials. Andrew Sullivan does nothing of the sort, and hasn’t for some time.

    Ask the typical gay conservative who reads this blog whether or not they believe Andrew Sullivan represents even a small fraction of their views on any given subject; I think you might have a hard time finding many that would answer in the affirmative.

    Personally, CATO’s choice disgusts me. The very notion of it is offensive.

    Comment by Robert — February 17, 2010 @ 9:16 am - February 17, 2010

  4. Andrew Sullivan is about as conservative as Joe Solomnese.

    No, really. Compare what they say and the stands they take since the day Bush broke Andrew’s heart on gay marriage. $5 says Joe Solomnese is on Andrew’s right.

    Comment by DoDoGuRu — February 17, 2010 @ 9:45 am - February 17, 2010

  5. Even if they could make a plausible case that Sullivan could be considered a Conservative (they can’t), CATO should have avoided him like the plague give his increasingly erratic behavior, especially his obsession with what uterus Trig Palin issued forth from.

    This is like inviting Charles Johnson to promote ideas encouraging free, open, and uncensored debate in blog comments.

    Comment by Graumagus — February 17, 2010 @ 9:45 am - February 17, 2010

  6. If there is a Q&A, someone should definitely ask St. Andrew about Sarah Palin’s magic uterus.

    Comment by V the K — February 17, 2010 @ 9:58 am - February 17, 2010

  7. Maybe their decision to invite Andrew was based on his participation on the Chris Matthews Show. I thnk Chris refers to him as their resident conservative.

    Comment by Roberto — February 17, 2010 @ 10:30 am - February 17, 2010

  8. Really? Is there A PLACE for me in conservatism and conservative politic? How do I get my friends to understand conservative principles if we haven’t even been invited to the table yet? Can you imagine ANY OTHER situation where gay people would be asked to put up with ANY presentation entitled “Is There a Place for Gay People in XXXXX?”

    Comment by Rick — February 17, 2010 @ 10:59 am - February 17, 2010

  9. Dan- Thanks for this post. I actually spent the early part of this week contacting Cato and protesting their allegation that Sullivan is a “conservative”.

    I will have a follow-up to this story later…. but after the panel takes place.

    Cloak-n-dagger, huh? 🙂

    Comment by GayPatriot — February 17, 2010 @ 11:46 am - February 17, 2010

  10. Rick, did you even read the post to which you attach you comment? I indicate that my co-blogger was asked to participate in C-PAC. Kind of sounds like being invited to the table.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — February 17, 2010 @ 12:02 pm - February 17, 2010

  11. Glad I checked out your opinions and learned of this. I just commented at the Cato Institute’s page and referenced your website as a place to go for an honest, thorough and thoughtful gay conservative perspective. I’m going back now to ask WTH? Why didn’t they invite YOU?

    Comment by Jill Flyer — February 17, 2010 @ 12:39 pm - February 17, 2010

  12. This FB page for comments…GO! Yours are the voices that people need to hear!

    Comment by Jill Flyer — February 17, 2010 @ 12:48 pm - February 17, 2010

  13. Having watched this, my mind remains unchanged. The man is given to the worst kind of hysterics and seems only interested in attacking people he does not agree with. He assumes no positive intent with regard to people who hold opinions different than his own and the thought that sane people might believe this man represents myself and my views and disturbing to say the least.

    Comment by Robert — February 17, 2010 @ 1:45 pm - February 17, 2010

  14. Robert, that is what I feared–and why I didn’t watch it–having used the time more productively to put the finishing touches on research for first draft of a chapter of my dissertation.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — February 17, 2010 @ 2:06 pm - February 17, 2010

  15. Sullivan doesnt HAVE to attack conservatives to lose his conservative credentials, he gave them up willingly when he began cheerleading Obama and his big government statist agenda.

    Comment by American Elephant — February 17, 2010 @ 9:14 pm - February 17, 2010

  16. What nonsense. Andrew Sullivan is a kind of conservative. He’s clearly not YOUR king of conservative.

    Instead of whining about him, why not spend your efforts to make your “conservative movement” less anti-gay?

    Comment by BobN — February 18, 2010 @ 12:01 am - February 18, 2010

  17. dang… “king” = “kind”

    Comment by BobN — February 18, 2010 @ 12:01 am - February 18, 2010

  18. Andrew Sullivan is a kind of conservative

    Yes. Any of these would do:
    – The phony kind.
    – The kind who’s not.
    – The kind who is actually a dishonest leftist and statist.
    – The kind whose mind is so addled by some combination of pot, sex addiction and AIDS drugs, and God knows what else, that he has become a leftist.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 18, 2010 @ 12:51 am - February 18, 2010

  19. – The kind who is about as much a conservative as I am, say, a statist believer in Big Government. (You can probably find 1 or 2 tiny issues where I am.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 18, 2010 @ 1:03 am - February 18, 2010

  20. How many conservative teachers were up there?

    Comment by A Conservative Teacher — February 18, 2010 @ 9:20 pm - February 18, 2010

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