Is CPAC Illegally Discriminating Against Gays?
BY Lucas Grindley
January 25 2012 3:41 PM ET
Fred Karger once again isn't being allowed a table at one of the
Republican Party's biggest annual gatherings in Washington, and this time he's
threatening legal action because he believes he's being discriminated against because
A representative for the Conservative Political Action Conference toldBuzzFeed that Karger isn't being rented a table at its event in February because they are "sold out of exhibitor space." The CPAC spokesperson said priority is given to previous sponsors and partners.
But CPAC also voted in July to prevent GOProud, a group for gay conservatives, from cosponsoring the event. GOProud has been involved before but was told in a letter that it "will not be invited to participate in a formal role."
Karger was denied a spot last year but shared a table with former Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson. This time, he says he applied for space when CPAC was offering its "early bird discount," so they couldn't have been sold out.
"They clearly don't want anyone who is LGBT or any LGBT organization to sponsor or be a party of CPAC," he told The Advocate. "It's undeniably bigotry and homophobia and I will not rest until they come into the 21st Century and obey the laws designed to protect minorities."
Karger is threatening to file a discrimination complaint under the District of Columbia's Human Rights Act if he's not let in.
"Maybe they'll have to move to a new city, but as long as they hold their annual conference in Washington, D.C. it appears that they can not practice discrimination," Karger said.
No one from CPAC has contacted Karger about his application despite repeated calls and emails, he says. Karger wants a speaking slot too, "just like all other Republican candidates for president."
He's no stranger to being excluded from events. So far he's not been allowed in any of the Republican presidential debates despite filing complaints with the Federal Election Commission alleging discrimination.
When the California Republican Party refused to let him speak at the state convention, Karger spoke out in the San Francisco Chronicle and the group contacted him to say it had been a misunderstanding, even hosting a reception for California's longshot presidential candidate.