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Republican Gays Silenced Shut Out at CPAC


Reports that gay conservative group GOProud has been all but shut out of February's Conservative Political Action Conference are not true, GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia told in an e-mail Monday.

Over the weekend, reports circulated that David Keene, the head of CPAC's main organizing group, told a conservative radio host the group would not have a speaking role at the conference and gay rights would not be debated, despite GOProud being a cosponsor of the conference.

But LaSalvia says the reports are not true and that the CPAC program won't even be determined until January. He did say the group has not been asked to speak at the conference but that GOProud will "have all the benefits of any other sponsor at our sponsorship level."

Keene reportedly said the following in an e-mail to a conservative radio host: "GOProud 'has signed on as a CPAC cosponsor, but will have no speakers and we told them that, in fact, since opposition to gay marriage, etc. are consensus positions (if not unanimous) among conservatives, these topics are not open to debate. ... I know that there are those who are as opposed to the sinner as the sin, but our view is that CPAC is inclusive and welcomes all of those who agree with us on most issues. I don't know the GOProud people personally, but we find it difficult to exclude groups because of disagreements on one or two issues no matter how important many of us believe those issues to be ... other examples: we have pro-life and pro-abortion cosponsors, advocates of restrictive and more open immigration, supporters and opponents of the war in Afghanistan and supporters and opponents of some of the restrictions adopted in the war on terror since 9/11 ... Some of these issues draw significant support on both sides of the question from the broad movement and these we often debate at CPAC ... trade policy, immigration are example ... while others like abortion are consensus positions and while we accept those who differ from the consensus, we see no reason for further debate. Gay issues fall within this category."

Read the full story here.

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