Al Cardenas has suggested that gay GOP
group GOProud may not be welcome at next year's Conservative
Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Cardenas is the newly-elected chairman
of the American Conservative Union (ACU), which annually organizes
GOProud attended the event last year,
but their presence this year 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) – joined the boycott.
GOProud dismissed the action, saying
those involved had marginalized themselves from the conservative
a Thursday morning interview on C-Span's American Journal,
Cardenas suggested the gay Republicans would not be invited next
“We'll always be inclusive in regards
to who comes to CPAC – regardless of your ethnic origin, gender,
color of your skin or orientation. You're always welcome as an
individual,” Cardenas told host Greta Brawner.
“We're going to make sure that
organizations that adhere by what our beliefs are, get invited. And
so that includes GOProud or anyone else.”
“If you are a group – and this has
got nothing to do with your orientation – if you are a group of
straight couples and you advocate for gay marriage, that is not
within the scope of what we believe the three legs of the stool of
the movement are.”
GOProud Chairman Christopher Barron has
argued that his group does not advocate for gay marriage. Social
conservatives, however, insist the group does.
“We went to CPAC last year in good
faith, knowing that GOProud was also attending,” Brian Brown,
president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group
which opposes gay marriage, said in a statement. “It was at CPAC
we learned from repeated interviews they gave that GOProud leaders
favor gay marriage. It's not who people are, it's the positions they
take that concern us.”