The Conservative Political Action Conference will be held Feb. 25th – 28th, and once again the Log Cabin Republicans have been given the cold shoulder. In the world of CPAC organizers, someone who is 80 percent your friend is 20 percent your enemy.

The Huffington Post reported Thursday:

WASHINGTON — The wave of progress on LGBT rights has yet to reach the halls of the unsuitably named Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

For yet another year, the Conservative Political Action Conference will exclude from its list of sponsors the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative group that advocates for gay rights. The conference has increasingly become an exhibition for the movement’s more bombastic characters, but it remains one of the more high-profile conservative events each year, providing a window into the id of the Republican Party at a given moment. Several potential presidential candidates, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), are slated to attend this year’s conference, which will be held next week.

Pro-gay rights conservatives who hoped they’d get to participate in CPAC in a more formal way this year were disappointed when the answer came back from the event’s sponsor, the American Conservative Union.

This blog has been consistent for years when it comes to shutting down debate — it’s a loser. It’s a loser when NPR and other media outlets shut down the comments section of controversial topics, and it’s a loser when conservatives at the ACU find weasel ways to deny the Log Cabin Republicans a voice at CPAC.

If an organization of gay men agrees with me on national defense, fiscal policy, education, and a wide range of social issues — but it disagrees with me on the definition of marriage — it would be incredibly strange for of me to make that group feel unwelcome in my company. Denying the Log Cabin Republicans a sponsorship at CPAC is just as tone deaf as Mitt Romney saying his ideal immigration policy would force Hispanic families to “self deport” (i.e., Maybe if we make your life miserable enough, then you’ll just go back to where you came from).

Note: Jesus didn’t walk away from troubled souls — he walked towards them. Social conservatives shouldn’t fight to exclude a group that agrees with 80 percent of the conservative platform — they should fight to have the booth directly next to them.

It’s a sad day when CPAC will welcome Ron Paul fans who push nightmarish foreign policy ideas into its annual conference, but then kick the Log Cabin Republicans to the curb.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

4 comments

  1. Jesus did associate and walk among the “troubled souls” however he did not EMBRACE their troubled life styles. He also told them you are forgiven now GO AND SIN NO MORE. I have almost NO USE for CPAC or the GOP precisely because they feel they should force their choice down my throat. Even tho I believe in the Bible I don’t believe that CPAC or the GOP should try and force biblical principals on conservatives in general. CPAC is being stupid to exclude these conservatives who may-after all the vote is still out on what “causes” someone to be gay-be suffering from a twist of genomic fate that they had no control over. GREAT article!

    1. Jesus did associate and walk among the “troubled souls” however he did not EMBRACE their troubled life styles.

      And that’s my thing: CPAC is where conservatives are supposed to have a vigorous debate. Social conservatives do not have to embrace anything sinful — they just have to be willing to sit down and have a conversation. It’s impossible to convince someone of your point of view if you don’t ask them to sit down at the table.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  2. I think the important thing is Jesus engaged with everyone, which is all the Log Cabin group is asking for. I don’t see how we as conservatives should be excluding anyone at this point. We all have gay friends, neighbors and/or coworkers; they haven’t made me any less straight, and banning them wont make them any less gay…..I’ve always thought exclusion was a stupid position to take. Let’s see the best in each other (the 80% in this case) and run with it; hopefully we can get better results this election cycle.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Patrick. I went to CPAC three times for work-related events while I lived in D.C., and I fail to see how allowing this group to get a booth and sponsorship somehow sullies the reputation of any other organization. Like I said, there are people who go there with foreign policy ideas that would result in exactly what we’re seeing in the Middle East — Christians slaughtered, pushed out of areas they’ve lived in for almost 2,000 years, etc. But yet the gay booth with a more Reagan-esque foreign policy is somehow not welcome? Okay.

      There’s a strain of the Republican Party that is openly hostile to anyone who doesn’t march in lock step with them that is downright bizarre. Democrats do the same thing (e.g., Is there anyone in the Democrat Party’s leadership who is pro-life?), but the media are much more likely to cover it up.

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