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GOP Pro-Gay Sponsorship Sparks Controversy


Mixed reaction to the presence of a gay group at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference is getting a lot of attention online.

GOProud, founded by former members of the Log Cabin Republicans, is a sponsor of the Washington, D.C., event, which opened Thursday and runs through Saturday. The group also has a conference exhibit booth just two spaces from the antigay National Organization for Marriage.

A conference spokesperson estimated that as many as 60%-80% of the gathering's attendees are younger than 30, figures that GOProud is betting on, as younger Americans are becoming increasingly accepting of LGBT people. The organization hopes to highlight the views it shares with other Republicans, such as beliefs in limited government and fiscal responsibility.

Unlike the National Organization for Marriage, GOProud feels that "it's the ultimate Washington power grab to say let's have a federal constitutional amendment that will federalize the question of marriage," chairman Christopher Barron told CNN.

Chris Plante, staffing the National Organization for Marriage booth, told CNN that while being two booths away from GOProud wasn't an issue, "gays and lesbians have the right to live as they choose, but they don't have the right to redefine marriage for the rest of us."

GOProud's sponsorship led to a CPAC boycott by Liberty University Law School, founded by Jerry Falwell.

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