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So, CPAC Had A Gay Rights Panel. How Did That Go?

by David Badash on March 14, 2013

in News

Post image for So, CPAC Had A Gay Rights Panel. How Did That Go?

CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, tonight (shockingly) held a gay rights panel titled “A Rainbow on the Right: Growing the Coalition, Bringing Tolerance Out of the Closet.” The panel’s existence was thanks to the libertarian group, Competitive Enterprise Institute, which sponsored the event after it was confirmed gay Tea Party group GOProud would be banned this year, again.

How did it go?

Among the speakers were Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud‘s co-founder, who said, “We have tolerated something in out movement for far too long: bigotry against gay people,” according to Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon:

LaSalvia, deploying stronger language than he’s used in the past, said “bigotry has to be called out and condemned.” It’s the “same as racism,” he said. He continued: “If we don’t stand up to it, everyone will think we agree with it.”

He also said that he thinks homophobia “contributes more to conservatives’ image problem than anything else,” because there are gay people in every community and demographic group and almost every family in the country. Opposition to marriage equality alone, however, is not bigotry, he added.

Slated to appear on the panel, in addition to LaSalvia were Fred Smith of CEI, Liz Mair, Jonah Goldberg, Margaret Hoover, and Jennifer Rubin.

Here’s a Storify story of tweets about tonight’s event and how it went:


So, CPAC Had A Gay Rights Panel… How Did That Go?

CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, is rabidly anti-gay — at least the old guard of CPAC, including its founders, the ACU are. But there’s a rising tide for LGBT people, it seems…

Storified by David Badash· Thu, Mar 14 2013 16:35:58

Looks like the LGBT rights panel was VERY popular: 
CPAC bars @GOProud for 2nd consecutive year. CEI invites @GOPROUD to panel. Result:
MUCH more popular than the anti-gay NOM panel, with National Organization For Marriage president Brian Brown, Breitbart editor at large Ben Shapiro, and long-term veteran anti-gay activist Cleta Mitchell
Lot of empty seats for Cleta Mitchell, Hans von Spakovsky, Ben Shapiro & Brian Brown’s #cpac2013 panel.chrisgeidner
Off to the side at CPAC: GOProud cofounder Jimmy LaSalvia sits on a panel. One of the smallest rooms at CPAC, but it’s packed.Kasie Hunt
Applause as @JonahNRO takes CPAC to task for not inviting GOProud but inviting TrumpZeke Miller
From @JRubinBlogger on gay rights: ‘debate has already taken place in America and [conservatives] cannot be at war with America’ #CPACTom Rogan
Listening to @JimmyLaSalvia at #CPAC #CEI making a speech about gay rights in the conservative movement. He’s right, Freedom must be for allTom Rogan
‘Millions of Americans will join us if we ask them’ @JimmyLaSalvia at #CPAC #CEITom Rogan
Rubin also thinks gay marriage will not be a political issue in 10 years #cpacBen Jacobs
Packed house for the gay marriage panel. #CPAC2013 Krohn
The fact that @GOProud still aren’t allowed to have a booth at #CPAC of course slightly slows momentum of gay rights in GOPMartin Gelin
Actual sweet moment when Jimmy from @GOProud says, voice trembling, "this room is the future of the GOP" at pro gay rights panel at #CPACMartin Gelin
.@JonahNRO says Donald Trump is more of a questionable choice for #cpac2013 than "a Republican who happens to be gay."Chris Geidner
Standing room only crowd at the gay rights panel at #CPAC2013 Benson
Gay Americans were the only minority group where #gop made gains in 2012 election. #CPAC2013Heather Long
@LizMair whats the one minority vote that INCREASED from 2008 to 2012: Gay Americans #tcot #CPAC2013Kevin McKeever
Stop the #HeteroH8, Gay-wing supremacists!!! #CPAC2013El SOOPer!!
Argument at pro-gay #CPAC2013 panel ostensibly boils down to: We should get everyone to marry & grow old & become more conservativeSally Kohn
.@JonahNRO is knocking it out of the park in the @GOPROUD panel. #CPAC2013Chuck Clothier (I)
So @JonahNRO says: "I was called RINO for wanting Chris Christie to be invited and @goproud to have booth, but #CPAC2013 let Trump speakHeather Long
Gotta love #CPAC2013. Run into @GOPROUD’s @JimmyLaSalvia. Take an escalator, walk 10 paces, run to the prez of @NOMtweetsdaveweigel
Damn good speech by @jimmylasalvia of @goproud making the case for GOP outreach to gays #CPAC2013 "will you join the movement?"Heather Long
@daveweigel From the pic, I see mostly men there at the @GOPROUD / CEI thing. Accurate assessment? #CPAC2013Sister Toldjah
Completely packed room for #cpac2013 unofficial panel on including #LGBT inclusion in the conservative movement. Eilts


Image, top, by Dave Weigel via Twitter


CPAC Bans Gay Republican Group — But Gets A Gay Rights Panel In Return

CPAC Urged To Hold Panel On Why ‘Homosexual Movement Prone To Violence, Terror, And Treason’

In Policy Flip, Gay GOP Group Now Officially Supports Same-Sex Marriage


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{ 1 comment }

Editor March 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Thanks for the article.

The Libertarians had gay panels for the Dems in the 70's, now the GOP is waking up.

For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues worldwide, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization @ ….

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