Social conservatives are demanding
former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin clarify her position on whether
she supports gay GOP group GOProud's presence at CPAC.
Palin suggested as much in an interview
with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
In the interview, Palin is asked her
position on the decision by social conservatives to skip this
weekend's annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
convention because of GOProud's sponsorship of the event.
Several Republican lawmakers, including
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and Ohio Representative Jim Jordan,
and a smattering of socially conservative groups – the National
Organization for Marriage (NOM), FRC Action and Concerned Women for
America (CWA) – have joined the boycott.
“[S]hould conservatives not reach out
to others, not participate in events or forums that perhaps are
rising within those forums are issues that maybe we don’t
personally agree with?” Palin said in the interview. “And I say
no, it’s like you being on a panel with – shoot – a bunch of
the liberal folks whom you have been on and you provide good
information and balance, and you allow for healthy debate, which is
needed in order for people to gather information and make up their
own minds about issues. I look at participation in an event like CPAC
or any other event, along, kind of in that same vein as the more
information that people have the better.”
Frank Cannon, the president of the
American Principles Project, a group which is boycotting the event,
demanded answers from Palin.
“The concern of conservatives is over
the participation of a group whose stated goals run at odds with that
of core conservative principles, not over debate over those issues,”
Cannon said in a statement. “Governor Palin should clarify her
comments by letting us know whether in her definition, traditional
marriage is a core component of conservatism.”
Bryan Fischer of the Christian-based
group American Family Association (AFA) expressed his displeasure
with Palin on his radio show.
Fischer blasted conservatives who
support “the normalization of homosexuality” because everywhere
“the homosexual agenda” advances it does so at the expense of
“religious liberty, speech and freedom of association.” “The
constitutional rights enshrined in the First Amendment are too
valuable to be sacrificed on the alter of political correctness.”
“If Sarah Palin continues to send
such uncertain signals on moral issues, they [liberals] may just
start leaving her alone,” Fischer added. (The video is embedded in
the right panel of this page.)
While Palin might support the inclusion
of GOProud at CPAC, her record on gay rights is a mixed bag at best.
In November, she
defended her daughter's use of a gay slur. Palin
has also supported many anti-gay candidates, spoken at gatherings
sponsored by anti-gay groups and tweeted
support for rabidly homophobic pastor James David Manning, who
insists gays should be called “fags.”