As Bruce got the ball rolling yesterday with his post on CPAC, let me follow up with some thoughts of my own. Basically, this whole kerfuffle (if it amounts even to that) provides a snapshot on the status of gays in the conservative movement. It m may well have exposed a me-tooism at the Heritage Foundation (though Gabriel Malor says that conservative think tank is bowing out for budgetary reasons). (More on this anon.)
As Chuck Muth (in the post Bruce linked) reminds us, leading conservative organizations are not following some of the fringe social conservative groups and avoiding next month’s confab, but have signed up in droves to participate. Gabe noted last month that a number of prominent social conservative groups were still taking part.
While the fact that some groups are boycotting does show that that not all conservatives are willing to include their gay and lesbian confreres, overwhelmingly, conservative organizations don’t have a problem working together with gays in common purpose. And that purpose is reducing the size and scope of the federal government while standing up for basic American values, including the freedom to live our lives as we choose.
We may not agree with some of these organizations on all issues (nor they with us), but at least they welcome us into the conservative fold. And that really should be the takeaway from this kerfuffle, that the conservative movement is increasingly opening its doors to openly gay men and lesbians. And that the narrative of a movement based on animus to homosexuals is just that a narrative, full of condescension and misunderstanding, signifying nothing save what it reveals about the prejudices of those putting it forward.
For Further Reading:
Ed Morrissey, David Keene: Full steam ahead for CPAC
Jennifer Rubin, A response to the CPAC boycotters
David Harsanyi, Hating the “sinner”