Right Wing Civil War Erupts Over Gay Conservatives’ Sponsoring of CPAC

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday December 16, 2009

The co-sponsorship of the yearly Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by GOProud, a conservative gay organization, has brought anti-gay groups to the brink of boycotting the event, which is scheduled to take place Feb. 18-20 in Washington, D.C.

"GOProud represents gay conservatives and their allies. GOProud is committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy," text at the group's Web site reads. "GOProud promotes our traditional conservative agenda by influencing politics and policy at the federal level."

"[W]e at AFTAH dispute their definition of 'conservative,' which would have the movement's Founding Fathers, like Russell Kirk..., rolling over in their graves," wrote Peter LaBarbera at anti-gay blog Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.

LaBarbera reported that Matt Barber of the anti-gay religious group Liberty Counsel was organizing a boycott of the event unless GOProud were dismissed as co-sponsor. The Liberty Counsel Web site describes the group's mission as "Restoring the Culture One Case at a Time by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life and the Traditional Family."

"Among other things, GOProud advocates in favor of both 'gay marriage' and 'civil unions,' against pro-marriage constitutional amendments ; is pushing for the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and advocates in favor of federal 'partnership benefits' for homosexuals. This group is pushing a radical leftist agenda that is an affront to the GOP platform, conservatism and, most importantly, the Word of God," LaBarbera quoted Barber as writing in an email to religious conservatives.

"It boils down to this: there is nothing 'conservative' about--as Barber inimitably puts it--'one man violently cramming his penis into another man's lower intestine and calling it "love,"'" LaBarbera wrote. "Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home. This does not mean that people practicing those and other immoral (and changeable) behaviors cannot think and act conservatively on other issues like lowering taxes, cutting government spending, ending abortion, etc. But let's be honest: the 'proud' in GOProud is not about pride in opposing the death tax, or defending the right to bear arms; it's about proudly embracing sinful homosexual behavior--and that is hardly a conservative value.

"I challenge every thinking conservative to explain why we should jettison our nation's Judeo-Christian heritage (which clearly rejects homosexual acts as immoral) for some new, secularized brand of 'conservatism' that fails to conserve natural, normal, and noble sex within God-ordained marriage," LaBarbera continued. "Where does the expansion of 'conservatism' stop? Would CPAC welcome 'Republicans for Abortion' as a co-sponsor? How about 'Conservatives For Higher Taxes'? We doubt it. So let's stop the double-standard on one issue--homosexuality--that happens to be politically incorrect in this decadent age."

Another individual affiliated with Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, gave an address at the 2009 CPAC convention in which he predicted that marriage equality would transform Americans into a horde of "violent criminals" because it would lead to children being raised without fathers, GLBT blog Joe.My.God reported on Feb. 27. "There is a correlation between fatherlessness and why these young men are behind bars for committing violent crimes," Staver declared, after depicting a scenario in which prisoners guilty of violent crimes were asked about their nonexistent relationships with their fathers.

Social and religious conservatives embrace studies that indicate that children who are raised by single mothers fare worse than their peers from two-parent homes. However, credible studies that actually examine the welfare of children from stable two-parent homes where both parents are of the same gender find that children from gay and lesbian families fare just as well in life as do children from two-parent mixed-gender families.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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