GOProud’s co-sponsorship of CPAC was controversial in some quarters right from the beginning. Liberty University pulled out because GOProud was also allowed to be a co-sponor of CPAC. At the actual event, some guy named Ryan Sorba trashed GOProud and got boo’d off the stage as a result:
Since then, there have continued to be a smattering of complaints about GOProud, the most notable of which came from AIM’s Cliff Kincaid:
GOProud, the organization at the center of the storm, claims to be “conservative” but supports the Obama policy of putting active and open homosexuals in the military, supports homosexual marriage, and even advocates a foreign policy of promoting acceptance of sodomy abroad. The latter is referred to as “Standing strong against radical regimes who seek to criminalize gays and lesbians.”
These “radical regimes,” such as the Christian-dominated government in Uganda, are trying to prevent the spread of AIDS and protect traditional moral values by toughening laws against homosexuality.
Under these “gay conservatives,” one can imagine gay soldiers being deployed to overthrow “homophobic” regimes.
GOProud also says it wants to “defend the Constitution” in the U.S. by “Opposing any anti-gay federal marriage amendment.” It doesn’t explain how protecting the country against out-of-control judges legalizing gay marriage without a vote of the people is unconstitutional.
First off, let me just note that I hope Kincaid is unaware that what Uganda is actually considering is a death sentence for gay sex. Even if you believe, as I do, that the Bible considers homosexual sex to be a sin, it’s certainly not Christian to put people to death for it.
Let me also add, before I continue, that I’m opposed to gays in the military. I’ve talked to soldiers and ex-soldiers about it and they’ve told me that in battle, when it gets tense, when there’s no privacy, they think having openly gay soldiers would be a problem and decrease unit cohesion. That makes perfect sense to me and as long as the military is opposed to having openly gay soldiers in their ranks, I’ll back its play.
In addition, I also oppose gay marriage. Not only do I find support of gay marriage to be incompatible with Christianity, I think it would devalue marriage and help lead to cultural decay in our country.
Now, let’s talk about GOProud. First of all, they broke off from the Log Cabin Republicans because they had essentially turned into just another left-wing gay group. I agree with that assessment. Moreover, I have no use for any group with “Republican” in its name that refused to back George W. Bush against John Kerry in 2004.
GOProud’s attitude, on the other hand, is essentially, “Yes, we want gays in the military and we support gay marriage, but we’re about a lot more than just those two issues.”
As Christopher Barron, the Chairman of the Board for GOProud told me when I interviewed him:
(W)hen you look at our legislative agenda and the issues that we’re working on, we think the question of “gay rights” has been narrowly defined by the left. We think that if you want to improve the lives of every day gay and lesbian folks all across this country, you can do things like reform our tax code and provide for personal savings accounts in social security, free market health care reform, the type of stuff that’s going to improve the lives of every American in this country.
We certainly do understand that there are going to be conservatives who disagree with us on issues like same-sex marriage. We understand that and respect that. But, the fact is that movement conservatives aren’t going to agree on everything. I like to live by the Reagan line about “Your 80% friend is your friend, not your 20% enemy.”
…We work with folks like Tom Coburn. We worked with John Thune on a concealed carry amendment. We work with conservative members. We’re a conservative organization
Is that not supposed to be good enough for conservatives? Is the attitude supposed to be, well, he agrees with me on tax code, personal savings accounts in Social Security, free market health care reform, concealed carry, and he’s a fan of Tom Coburn — but, he’s gay and favors same sex marriage, so he’s not welcome? So, are prominent lesbians in the movement like Tammy Bruce and Mary Cheney not welcome either? Give me a break. That’s ridiculous.
Yes, like most conservatives, I am not ever going to see eye-to-eye with GOProud on gay marriage. Of course, I am probably not ever going to see eye-to-eye with Paleocons on trade, diehard social conservatives on banning pornography, Libertarians on foreign policy, and Sarah Palin on her endorsement of John McCain. So what? Are we all going to splinter off now? Yes, it’s important to stick to our principles, but there also has to be some room for disagreement as well. We do need to be able to say, “Yeah, we may disagree sometimes, but we’re still on the same side and can work together on a lot of issues.”
With that in mind, I was glad to see GOProud at CPAC, I’m glad to have them in the Republican Party, and I’m glad to have them in the conservative movement. I hope other conservatives will have the same attitude and I also hope any remaining gay conservatives who might still be lingering in the Log Cabin Republicans will abandon that phony group and migrate over to GOProud instead.