Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin says she's okay with gay GOP group GOProud's presence at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) convention which opens Thursday.

The group's co-sponsorship of the event prompted social conservatives to boycott 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.

Frank Cannon, the president of the American Principles Project, a group which is boycotting the event, demanded Palin clarify her position on the group's participation after she suggested as much in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).

“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.”

In an interview broadcast Wednesday on Fox News, Palin replied: “I don't have a problem with different, diverse groups that are involved in political discourse, and having a convention to talk about what the answers are to their problems that face America.”

She suggested that America is facing more pressing issues.

“People are losing their jobs; they're losing homes. We're still engaged in a war,” she said. “There are so many life-changing, life-and-death issues out there in front of us. You know, we'd better be concentrating on what is really important here and not going kind of tit-for-tat as people are positioning themselves for 2012.”

On Thursday, GOProud responded that groups boycotting the event hate gay people.