Chris Barron, the chairman of gay GOP
group GOProud, has denied his group has been booted from the
Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
GOProud's co-sponsorship at last year's
February conference prompted a boycott of the event by social
conservatives opposed to gay rights.
In several media interviews, Barron
attacked the boycotters, saying they were motivated not by policy
disagreements but rather animus toward gay and lesbian people, and
called Cleta Mitchell, a prominent Republican lawyer and a board
member of the American Conservative Union (ACU), which annually
organizes the event, a “nasty bigot.”
The comment put the group in hot water
with incoming ACU Chairman Al Cardenas.
World Net Daily reported on
Friday that Cardenas had informed the group that it would not be
welcome at this year's conference.
“We have received no notification
from ACU,” Barron said in statement. “An ACU board member told
me this afternoon that they were unaware of such a decision and that
to the best of his knowledge no decision had been made. I certainly
hope that is true. The last thing the conservative movement needs
right now is a [sic] unnecessary, ugly and divisive fight. The
stakes in 2012 are too great. GOProud's number one goal is defeating
Barack Obama. That should be the goal of every conservative
The group created headlines earlier
this year when real estate mogul Donald Trump accepted a last-minute
invitation from GOProud to address the crowd on the convention's
opening day. For several months, Trump continued to flirt with the
idea of running for president as a Republican. He ultimately decided
to take a pass, but
not before saying he opposed all forms of legal recognition for gay
and lesbian couples.
Barron says Michele Bachmann “ex-gay” talk is “silly season.”)