The Daily Caller reports that GOProud, a gay conservative group that had attended the annual Conservative Political Action Conference for the past two years, has been barred from participating in 2012.
The decision was reached by a full vote of the American Conservative Union’s board of directors. The ACU organizes and hosts CPAC each year…
The decision comes after GOProud’s 2011 sponsorship sparked severe criticism from ACU board members, and prompted several social conservative groups to boycott the event. The controversy reached a boiling point when GOProud’s chairman called respected ACU board member Cleta Mitchell “a nasty bigot.”
As someone who began attending CPAC not long ago, I liked seeing GOProud there, representing a diversity of opinion within the conservative movement. Hey, even Sarah Palin made the same argument in an interview with a Christian news network, no less.
GOProud was meant to be the true-conservative alternative to the Log Cabin Republicans, which were a moderate, pro-gay group. From the GOProud website:
What we believe
We are conservatives who believe in limited government, individual liberty, free markets, a strong national defense and a confident foreign policy. We believe that every individual should be equal under the law.
Why… they sound almost like… like neolibertarians! Their federal legislative priorities are about as pro-free market, individual liberties as you could ask for in a conservative org, but of course, I guess the ACU took umbrage to one element:
7 – DEFENDING OUR CONSTITUTION – Opposing any anti-gay federal marriage amendment. Marriage should be a question for the states. A federal constitutional amendment on marriage would be an unprecedented federal power grab from the states.
That position is actually pretty mainstream among the post-2008, libertarian-esque Tea Party atmosphere of Republican politics. Just look at near-frontrunner Rick Perry when
he congratulated New York’s legalization of gay marriage on 10th Amendment federalism grounds. (*facepalm*–he’s apparently backtracked on that statement now…)
At any rate, the ACU probably believes in “thick conservatism” in the same way that some (typically left-leaning) libertarians support “thick libertarianism”–that is, supporters should advocate beyond mere political/governmental issues, but try to win on cultural/lifestyle support too.
For “thick libertarianism,” this would mean society accepting gays and gay lifestyle in general.
I can understand this approach: it is difficult to win on the political question if you don’t have a cultural enthusiasm behind it as well. (People are generally not pure logical automotons who dispassionately analyze the philosophical theorems of political morality… *coughcough libertariananarchists cough*) See: how having a gay friend or relative will make you more likely to support gay marriage.