Tea Party favorites Sharron Angle and
Sarah Palin are okay with gay GOP group GOProud's presence at the
Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) convention, which
opened on Thursday.
GOProud'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.
a Thursday appearance on MSNBC, Tony Perkins, president of the
anti-gay group Family Research Council (FRC) summed up the boycott
this way: “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
But the gay Republican group does not
actively lobby for greater rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender people, including marriage.
On Thursday, Angle, who made an
unsuccessful bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of
Nevada last fall, told
The Huffington Post that she welcomed an open dialogue.
“I think that as Americans, we like
the open forum of discussion,” Angle said. “That's what freedom
of speech is, that's what freedom of assembly is – we have an
assembly here of people coming together to exchange ideas – and I
think that's what we like is the discourse and exchange of ideas. I
am always in favor of freedom.”
“As far as the controversy, I think
we don't back away from controversy, we discuss it,” she added.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
agreed, telling Fox News: “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
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.”