GOProud, a group for gay conservatives, was bounced from the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference in 2012 when a coalition of social conservatives pulled out in protest of the group’s participation. This year the group has been “welcomed” back – not in the sense of having a table or other visible presence, but in the sense of GOProud leaders being allowed to attend, according to some news reports, as guests of the ACU. GOProud co-founder Chris Barron criticized the group’s current leaders for touting the conditional return as a victory, saying they were letting themselves be used as “stooges” for anti-gay conservatives.
But even this mild and invisible welcome is too much for Tradition, Family, and Property, the far-right Catholic organization whose members sport bright scarlet capes. Walk by TFP’s table and someone will eagerly hand you a flyer explaining “Why GOProud Does Not Belong at CPAC.” GOProud is memorably portrayed as a rainbow-colored beaver, gnawing away at the social conservative leg of the conservative movement (the other two legs being fiscal and defense-oriented conservatives).
Why is GOProud a welcomed and official guest at CPAC, when it advocates the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” thus undermining the votes and dreams of millions of God-fearing Americans?
How can GOProud consider itself conservative when it directly opposes the work of social conservative activists and contributes to America’s moral ruin, through the weakening of the family – the first and fundamental building block of society?
TFP’s flyer says it protests against GOProud’s efforts to “cast itself as a bone fide member of the conservative movement.” TFP believes:
To be true to itself, the conservative movement must battle on all three conservative fronts (defense, fiscal, and social).
That individuals and organizations who subscribe to only one or two of the conservative movement’s three legs are still welcome to join the coalition, but should refrain from publicly opposing the rest of the movement’s efforts on the leg or legs they disagree on.
TFP says welcoming GOProud into the conservative movement would be like a communist or socialist organization seeking admittance to the conservative movement by claiming to be against abortion. As part of the evidence that TFP marshals to prove that GOProud is not conservative, it notes that the group’s website says it encourages “committed stable, relationships between two people, regardless of sexual orientation, that promote healthy families and create value within our society.” Mercy!
TFP does have some kind words for the ACU, applauding the decision to deny American Atheists a booth at CPAC. But that didn’t prevent American Atheists from distributing a CPAC flyer that says “Christianity’s influence on conservatism is pushing away almost 20 million voters – more than enough to swing an election.”
The Institute For Research & Education on Human Rights points out today that the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is once again welcoming a white nationalist group, even while shunning organizations that represent LGBT and atheist conservatives.
IREHR reports that ProEnglish is sponsoring a booth at this week’s CPAC, which costs exhibitors $4,000 in exchange for official recognition and promotion from conference organizers. ProEnglish is an anti-immigrant “English only” group led by Bob Vandervoort, who previously headed a white nationalist group and who has fretted about the “cultural and racial dispossession of the West’s historic people” and the coming of a “post-Western America.” Vandervoort has also written about supposed “racial differences” in “intelligence and temperament.”
ProEnglish is part of the network of anti-immigrant groups connected to white nationalist John Tanton. The Center for New Community explains:
ProEnglish was established in 1994 with the oversight of its founding chairman, the white nationalist John Tanton. In fact, it is Tanton’s second English language interest group, formed after he left the first, U.S. English, after a racially charged memo that surfaced in 1988.
While Vandervoort’s group was apparently not too controversial for the conference, two other groups were. Late last month, the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, abruptly canceled the exhibition booth of the group American Atheists after an outcry from Religious Right groups. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said of the planned inclusion of the atheist group, "Does the American Conservative Union really think the liberties and values they seek to preserve can be maintained when they partner with individuals and organizations that are undermining the understanding that our liberties come from God? Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense."
CPAC’s organizers also prevented the gay conservative group GOPround from sponsoring a booth, although they magnanimously allowed GOProud’s leaders to “attend as guests,” causing a cofounder of the group to resign.
Similar dramas have played out in each of the last few years. In 2012, CPAC banned GOProud but allowed two white nationalists, including Vandervoort, to appear on an anti-multiculturalism panel. Last year, GOProud was banned once again but ProEnglish was allowed to host a booth.
Interestingly, one of CPAC’s “participating sponsors” this year is Facebook, which has been working to push GOP toward immigration reform. We wonder how they feel about sponsoring a conference that welcomes the participation of an anti-immigrant white nationalist group?
Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney has unveiled a new petition, with support from Allen West and Andy McCarthy, demanding that the American Conservative Union kick Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan out of the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). CPAC had actually kicked Gaffney out in 2011 after an internal report found his accusations about the supposed ties between Norquist and Khan and the Muslim Brotherhood to be baseless and rooted in bigotry, but today the Huffington Post reports that Gaffney is embarking on yet another anti-Norquist campaign.
The conservative movement’s sowing of anti-Muslim paranoia and discord to help win elections is now coming back to bite it as even top conservative leaders like Norquist, who is married to a Muslim-American, are facing attacks.
At a 2011 right-wing summit, The Awakening, Gaffney was part of an event that immediately followed a panel featuring Norquist, where he delivered a presentation alleging that Norquist is “both enabling and empowering Muslim Brotherhood influence operations against our movement and our country.”
On his radio show last month, Gaffney said that Norquist is advancing the “civilization jihad of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
But Gaffney is not alone.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) denounced Norquist from the floor of the House for associating with “unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream.”
Glenn Beck and Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council, also dedicated an entire program to discussing Norquist’s supposed role as “a Muslim Brotherhood facilitator.”
Not holding back, anti-Muslim activist David Horowitz attacked Norquist as a “ practicing Muslim” who has “infiltrated” the GOP, and Robert Spencer said last year that Norquist’s presence at CPAC turned the gathering into a “Sharia-compliant conference.”
“They are enforcing the Sharia,” Pamela Geller said of CPAC after the summit rejected her panel last year, which she blamed on “the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.” She was still able to host a nonofficial event where one speaker said he was “proud” of attacks against mosques.
But perhaps our favorite rant against Norquist came from Cathie Adams of Eagle Forum, who said that she knows Norquist is a secret Muslim because “he has a beard.”
As we noted yesterday, the American Conservative Union, which runs the annual CPAC conference, banned the gay conservative group GOProd for the second year in a row. They had previously been allowed to sponsor, and speak at, the conference. Meanwhile, CPAC has thrown open its doors to white nationalists and other extremists.
Last year’s CPAC featured three prominent white nationalists, including Bob Vandervoort. This year, his anti-immigrant group ProEnglish is supporting, and participating at, CPAC as an exhibitor. And it late February, the ACU posted an article by yet another white nationalist on its website. It begins to make you wonder.
As we also noted yesterday, ProEnglish isn’t the only controversial sponsor this year. There’s also the Family Research Council, which is designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Accuracy in Media, whose director recently praised the GOProud ban and called for a CPAC panel on “the dangers of the homosexual movement and why some of its members seem prone to violence, terror, and treason.”
I could go on, but the name that really stands out among the list of sponsors, just to the right of Liberty University, is Microsoft, the gay-friendly software giant. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Microsoft shouldn’t sponsor political events or work with both sides of the aisle. That’s all fine by me. But CPAC, at least right now, is different.
CPAC has a segregated – straights-only – sponsorship policy. Meanwhile it’s taking money from, and giving a platform to, white nationalists and anti-gay extremists. Microsoft, as a mainstream and purportedly gay-friendly company that serves the general public and strives to be socially responsible, has no business bankrolling CPAC in its current form.
Microsoft was an exhibitor at least year’s CPAC, and this year they’re a co-sponsor. They also hosted last year’s CPAC Blog Bash at their Washington, DC headquarters, which recognized Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe, seen here mugging in front of the Microsoft logo:
I’ve been wondering why Microsoft would get so involved with an anti-gay, right-wing conference like CPAC. Then I read in Lee Fang’s report today at The Nation that ACU board member Suhail Khan is affiliated with Microsoft. (Khan, by the way, is the board member that the Islamophobes Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer love to hate and got themselves banned for attacking).
As it turns out, Khan isn’t just a run-of-the-mill Microsoft employee. He’s the Director of External Affairs for the company’s Washington, DC headquarters and lobbying shop (the so-called Innovation and Policy Center). He’s clearly able to use his position to aid his extracurricular activities, so to speak.
It must be said that Khan has made earnest efforts to overcome intolerance, which is why Geller and company despise him. Just the same, Microsoft should think twice about following his lead on CPAC.
Last year we wrote about how CPAC allowed notorious white nationalists to speak on multiple panels but banned the gay conservative group GOProud. This year the CPAC organizers, who aren’t entirely oblivious to the 2012 election, are trying to emphasize diversity. There’s even a panel entitled, “Conservative Inclusion: Promoting the Freedom Message to all Americans,” which boasts a racially diverse lineup of conservative activists.
“Conservative inclusion” is a nice idea, but it doesn’t go very far at CPAC. For the second year in a row, the gay conservative group GOProud has been banned from the conference. So at best, “inclusion” at CPAC means “straights only.”
Even more telling is the roster of sponsors and exhibitors at CPAC. Most troubling is the inclusion of the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish, which is run by longtime white nationalist organizer Bob Vandervoort. The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported extensively on his activities:
Vandervoort was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. The group held events featuring numerous white nationalist figures. Vandervoort also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
When CPAC and its organizers at the American Conservative Union were widely criticized last year for allowing Vandervoort and other white nationalists to speak on multiple panels, the conference organizers played dumb:
“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.”
There’s no such excuse this year. CPAC knew all too well about Vandervoort’s white nationalist background and yet they allowed his group to return. Apparently “conservative inclusion” means shunning gays while including racists.
The reality is that CPAC couldn’t open its doors to gay conservatives even if it wanted to. As Brian reported last week, the head of CPAC sponsor Accuracy In Media is not only pleased with the GOProud ban, he wants to see a panel at the conference on “the dangers of the homosexual movement and why some of its members seem prone to violence, terror, and treason.”
Another important sponsor is the Family Research Council, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. The group’s top policy expert, Peter Sprigg, explicitly supports the criminalization of homosexuality, and readers of this blog are familiar with FRC’s aggressive and dehumanizing advocacy against gays and lesbians. There is no compromising on gays with extremists like these.
As we’ve reported, GOProud isn’t the only group banned this year. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, co-founders of the Freedom Defense Initiative, are vicious Islamophobes and conspiracy theorists. Had CPAC banned them for spreading lies and fomenting hate against Muslims, it would be a sign of progress. But Geller and Spencer were really banned for having made the mistake of extending their Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory to include two American Conservative Union board members, Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.
In past years, ACU has happily given Geller and company a platform to bash Muslims. And Spencer, who runs the blog “Jihad Watch,” overwhelmingly won this year’s CPAC People’s Choice Blogger Award. But their paranoid rantings hit too close to home this year, so CPAC pulled the plug. Even “conservative inclusion” has its limits.
Pamela Geller will not be welcomed back to CPAC this year, representing yet another development in annual conservative gathering’s frequent clashes over Islamophobia. Anti-Muslim activists like Geller, David Horowitz, Frank Gaffney and Robert Spencer claim that the Muslim Brotherhood and its cohorts, namely Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, are trying to infiltrate the conservative movement.
During her panel last year, James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force bragged that he was “proud” that many of the attacks on mosques in the U.S. have occured in the South.
But while Geller might be absent this year, CPAC still is hosting a number of anti-Muslim speakers:
1. Allen West.
Former congressman Allen West became a hero of the Radical Right through his inflammatory remarks about Islam, including his claim that the “enemy represents something called Islam and Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion,” and that the Quran commands people to become terrorists. West has worked with Geller before (even writing a column for her blog) and told one of her conferences that “the nation goes to war against an ideology and we’ve been talking about the fact that we are against something that is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology and it is called Islam.” He also said that “satellite organizations that come from the Muslim Brotherhood” are growing throughout the US.
2. Tom Fitton.
Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton has been on a mission to “expose” how the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department are all working together with radical Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood. In a recent interview with End Times radio host Rick Wiles, he argued that the State Department is recruiting people directly from “the jihadist movement here in the United States” and “terrorist front organizations,” adding that the majority of Muslim-American groups are “all fronts for these terrorist front groups.”
Fitton also told Wiles that he agreed with Rep. Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim government witch hunt as “perfectly legitimate” and said that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin may be connected to people who are security threats.
3. Newt Gingrich.
Former Speaker Gingrich praised the anti-Muslim witch hunt spearheaded by Bachmann and four of her fellow Republican colleagues, calling the group of congressmen the “National Security Five.” He consistently attacked the Muslim community during his presidential campaign and claimed that Muslims in the US are trying to impose Sharia law. He even argued that the US should respond to Saudi Arabia’s ban on churches by banning the Park 51 Islamic Community Center in New York, and said that the government should treat Muslims like Nazis. Gingrich has also warned that America’s “elite favors radical Islam” and that the media is covering up stories about “Obama’s Muslim friends.”
4. Rick Santorum.
While running for president, former U.S. Senator Santorum claimed that equality is incompatible with the Islamic faith and that Muslims should face profiling by law enforcement. He also raised doubts about Obama’s Christian faith and a top aide accused the President of supporting “radical Islamic policies.” Following the campaign, he became a columnist for the anti-Muslim conspiracy website WorldNetDaily. Before running for president, Santorum told a conference hosted by Islamophobic activist David Horowtiz that America is engaged in a “long war” with “Islamo-fascism” and that it must be “eradicated.”
5. Ted Cruz.
Sen. Cruz has claimed that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in the U.S. and attacked President Obama for allegedly being “utterly unable to utter the words radical Islamic terrorist.” Cruz especially stoked anti-Muslim attitudes during the confirmation hearing of defense secretary Chuck Hagel, maintaining that the former Republican senator may be a pawn of Saudi Arabia and Iran.
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has for years been waging a war against the gay conservative group GOProud, and attacking the American Conservative Union for allowing GOProud to participate in its annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But this year, under new leadership, the ACU has decided to kick GOProud out of CPAC and has instead invited Religious Right luminaries and past CPAC-boycotters Mike Huckabee and Tony Perkins to address the summit. GOProud also finds itself in hot water after allegedly outing over Twitter a pollster for Rick Perry’s campaign in response to a controversial ad maligning gay soldiers. Conservative smear artist Andrew Breitbart quit GOProud’s advisory board in response to the outing, leading Farah to gloat, “I told you so.”
In an editorial today, Farah slams GOProud by tying the group to President Obama and his administration’s LGBT rights directive. “It was the political left that birthed the homosexual agenda by asserting what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms was a private matter – only to make it everyone's business,” Farah writes. “Now, under Barack Obama, the U.S. federal government is to become a global sex cop and make LGBT status as a preferential designation for immigrants into the country.” He goes on to say that supporting gay rights is incompatible with the conservative movement and calls GOProud “an enemy of conservatism inside the gates”:
I hate to say, "I told you so."
Andrew Breitbart is learning the hard way what it means to be a "conservative."
And it doesn't mean promoting a political organization that seeks to redefine a 6,000-year-old moral code or one that defines itself by its members' own peculiar sexual practices.
Any person or group seeking to topple the Judeo-Christian moral code and glorify sin, which is exactly what GOProud is all about, can never be considered "conservative," or the term loses all meaning. It is the political left that separates people by sex, by race, by ethnicity, by social standing, by income and through a thousand other classifications in an effort to divide and conquer in the name of greater state control.
It was the political left that birthed the homosexual agenda by asserting what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms was a private matter – only to make it everyone's business. Now, under Barack Obama, the U.S. federal government is to become a global sex cop and make LGBT status as a preferential designation for immigrants into the country.
I have no doubt these policies will please the extremists at GOProud. Any group or individual who supports same-sex marriage, hate-crimes laws and radical social engineering in our military can never be considered "conservative."
Will Ann Coulter, who sits on that same GOProud advisory board, finally get a clue?
Will Grover Norquist, who sits on that same advisory board, have an epiphany now?
Will the rest of the conservative movement finally comprehend what these people are doing?
It's time to recognize what GOProud truly is – an enemy of conservatism inside the gates, the well-funded, well-heeled, perpetrators of a "homo con," a term the group affectionately uses for its own fabulous confabs.