I don’t agree with conclusion of this headline, but Chris Geidner points out the striking difference between the two CPAC panels on marriage equality.
Cleta Mitchell, a D.C. lawyer who successfully led the charge to keep the LGBT conservative group GOProud out of the Conservative Political Action Conference for the past two years, is finding out what it means to lose a hard-fought battle. Mitchell and the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown looked down from a stage at the annual, signature conservative conference whose social values they’d fought to defend to find they’d lost their troops.
“We are treated as if we are bigots,” Brown complained to a largely empty room, assembled for a panel dedicated to discussing the bullying they and other conservatives say they face from the Obama administration. An hour later, speaking to a packed room at another CPAC panel about increasing tolerance in the party, GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia basically agreed.
“We have tolerated something in our movement for far too long: anti-gay bigotry,” LaSalvia said. “Let me be clear, I do not believe that just because someone opposes same-sex marriage that that automatically makes them a homophobe. But there are, however, a few. There are a few in our movement who just don’t like gay people. In 2013, that just isn’t OK in America anymore.”
While many of the most virulently anti-gay groups had a presence at CPAC, it should be noted that a large percentage of attendees were young people.