Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gay Conservatives Meet With Intolerance At CPAC

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), recently held in Washington, D.C., barred the representatives of a co-sponsor, the conservative gay rights group GOProud, from speaking. Right-wing divisiveness over the group was in full display at the event. Alexander McCobin of the Students for Liberty was heckled over the idea that GOProud's involvement was a sign of social tolerance:

McCobin: In the name of freedom, I would like to also thank the American Conservative Union for welcoming GOProud as a co-sponsor of this event. (loud boos) Not because of any politics, but because of the message that it sends: If what you truly care about is freedom, limited government, and prosperity, then this symbol is a step in the right direction, and look to the student movement for support! (heckling) The typical Student’s response is to be socially tolerant and fiscally responsible. Students today recognize that freedom does not come in pieces. It is a single concept that we must defend at all times.

Ryan Sorba of the Young Americans for Freedom then condemned GOProud and the executive director of the Young Americans for Freedom. Sorba lectured the crowd on why civil rights, essential to freedom, don't extend to gays:

Sorba: I want to condemn CPAC for bringing GOProud to this event! (loud booing) I love it. I love it. Guess what. Guess what. Alright. Civil rights are granted in natural rights. Natural rights are granted in human nature. Human nature is a rational substance in relationship. The intelligible end of reproductive act is reproduction. Do you understand that? Civil rights when they conflict with natural rights are (yelling) No YOU sit down. The lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do. The lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do. Alright? Bring it. Jeff Frazee, guess what, you just made an enemy out of me, buddy. Yeah you, guess what. YOU just made an enemy out of me, thanks a lot. (h/t Think Progress)

Regarding the name "GOProud": After being barred from speaking and then meeting with further abuse, is this group really proud to be part of the GOP and the conservative movement? If the videos don't convince them, they should take a look at this insulting bumper sticker held by a conference attendee (h/t Right Wing Watch):


Politicartoons said...

And then they booed when Ron Paul won. Because they think that the louder you boo, the more valid your point becomes.

Jeff Tone said...

It's all part of the political culture of obstructionism.

Tim Gunter said...

That's the thing I love about it; Ron Paul winning the straw poll. Sarah Palin received only 7 percent.

Jimmy said...

GOProud's Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia (me) did speak at CPAC. GOProud was a co-sponsor of the event.

HOTROD said...

But this post seemed a little skewed. The person who heckled GOProud was later booed off stage for his attack on homosexuality. GOProud was not banned , but rather, they were invited and given much support.

Take another look at the entire video. Only Sorba was booing the GOProud representative.

Jeff Tone said...

Jimmy: I read the following article:

If this article is accurate, I'm glad that you were able to participate in the technology panel; however, I would have been more heartened had you been able to take part in the panel on social issues and presented aspects of GOProud's agenda that run counter to most conservatives: "changes to the tax code that will provide equity for gays and lesbians," repeal of DADT, opposition to the federal marriage amendment. I refer to the following:

GOProud couldn't be part of a panel on social issues because CPAC had already set participants? Agendas to conferences are not necessarily set in stone. GOProud would have added a valuable perspective to such a discussion, especially with Phyllis Schlafly on the panel.

Jeff Tone said...

Hotrod: It's true that Sorba received a fair amount of boos. My main point, however, was the divisiveness over the presence of gay conservatives. I don't believe that GOProud's participation should ever have been a source of controversy.

It doesn't sound to me like just one individual was booing. I was sorry to see that McCobin was cheered on basically by a group in the back; most withheld applause, indicating polite disdain for his message of tolerance and freedom.

Anonymous said...

Hi -- I was there and can say that Sorba was met with rolling waves of boos from the younger members of the audience (mainly Ron Paul supporters as he was the next speaker). The audience was clearly not supportive of Sorba. The mood was so angry that for a moment I was afraid someone might rush the stage. GOPride was a co-sponsor of CPAC so it's hardly fair to accuse them of bigotry!