Gay GOP group GOProud's Christopher
Barron claims groups boycotting this weekend's Conservative Political
Action Conference (CPAC) convention in D.C. hate gay people.
Social conservatives organized the
boycott in response to 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.
In a segment broadcast Thursday on
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, Barron and FRC President Tony
Perkins go head to head over the issue.
Perkins denies his group is skipping
the conference because of GOProud, but adds: “As a co-sponsor,
they're a part of setting the agenda. And it's hard to grasp the
idea that those who are working on redefining marriage can sit at the
same table and discuss strategy with those who are trying to promote
and protect traditional marriage.”
Barron returned fire, saying, “The
bottom line is people like Tony Perkins are in the industry of
demonizing gay people.”
Barron suggested that Perkins was being
disingenuous because GOProud doesn't have an official position on gay
marriage and doesn't lobby in favor of the institution.
“Marriage ought to be decided by the
states and we prefer it be decided by the people, not through the
courts,” he said.
“He can dress this up all he wants
and talk about family and redefining marriage, but that doesn't have
anything to do with it.”
“The reason why Tony, Joseph Farah,
the World Net Daily crowd, the extreme fringe of the conservative
movement, the reason why they aren't participating has nothing to do
with policy at all, it's because we happen to be gay.” (The video
is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
have blasted former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for suggesting she
supports GOProud's presence at CPAC.