Anti-gay hate groups have freaked out because GOProud is scheduled to participate in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) again in 2011. When GOProud participated in the 2010 event as a sponsoring organization, Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily blew a gasket, and Focus on the Family threatened to withdraw but didn’t. Liberty Law School did withdraw. (It was also the first year the John Birch Society was allowed in, but that was less controversial.) Now GOProud is coming back, and the anti-gay cohort is livid.
A brief look at some of the players:
GOProud is the neocon LGBT group, founded in 2009 by gay Republicans who felt the Log Cabin Republicans were way too liberal. The organization is best known for hiring Ann Coulter to speak at its Homocon event in 2010. GOProud charged its well-heeled supporters $2500 a head to schmooze with … well, each other … at the Manhattan home of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, where they got to listen to Coulter, whom they apparently find much more amusing than you’d think. They were immensely proud of themselves for having the “balls” to hire Ann Coulter, and promised to stand up to the gay establishment by showing that gay folks can be assholes as well as straight folks. (My words, not theirs.) GOProud is in favor of marriage equality and against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; their basic philosophy is that rich queers should have all the same rights and privileges other rich people have, and the poor and the middle class, whether gay or straight, should go fuck themselves. You can find their list of Federal Legislative Priorities here. Of course, the group enrages the anti-gay hate groups, who hold firmly to their deeply-held religious conviction that a faggot with a billion dollars is still just a faggot.
Groups that have announced they’ll boycott CPAC because of GOProud’s involvement include:
American Principles Project, an anti-gay group founded in 2009 by Robert P. George, also of the National Organization for Marriage. George was also on the drafting committee of the anti-LGBT Manhattan Declaration. APP is led by extremist Roman Catholics, mostly the usual suspects from NOM and the Witherspoon Institute.
American Values is one of Gary Bauer’s organizations. Bauer worked for Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1988, then headed the Family Research Council for a decade until he decided he’d rather be President of the United States. When his presidential bid failed, he got back into the activist business. He founded Campaign for Working Families (anti-LGBT, anti-abortion, and pro-capitalism) in 1996, and was a founding member of the Project for a New American Century in 1997. American Values has the same emphases as CWF: anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, and pro-capitalist.
Capital Research Center was founded in 1994 by Willa Johnson, a former Reagan employee and former Senior Vice President of the Heritage Foundation. The CRC is best known for being against government social programs, labor unions and environmentalism, and for shameless advocacy on behalf of Big Tobacco. I didn’t even realize that they were also anti-gay, but then I haven’t followed their activities too closely. Maybe I should.
Center for Military Readiness is the baby of Elaine Donnelly, whom the Christian press like to call a “military expert” despite the fact that she’s never served in the military. Her “expertise” comes from having served as a Reagan appointee to DACOWITS based on her experience as a social conservative crusader. Donnelly is, of course, anti-feminist and anti-gay. She stumped with Phyllis Schlafly to help defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, and Schlafly serves on CMR’s Board of Advisors.
Concerned Women for America was founded in 1979 by Beverly LaHaye, whose husband Tim is best known as the co-author of the Left Behind series of dispensationalist apocalyptic drivel. Beverly first got into politics as an activist fighting to help defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. CWA is an inerrantist Evangelical Christian group, dedicated to forcing their idea of a biblical worldview onto the rest of us. As such, they speak out against LGBTs, abortion, pornography, stem cell research, the United Nations, teaching evolution, and allowing teachers to give required reading assignments. On the SPLC watchlist of hard-line anti-gay groups.
Family Research Council, founded by James Dobson in 1981 and headed by Tony Perkins since 2003, the FRC has become primarily an anti-gay organization, but also opposes abortion, gambling, pornography, teaching evolution, estate taxes, government social programs, stem-cell research, no-fault divorce, environmentalism, and comprehensive sex education. They’re for school prayer. The SPLC lists the Family Research Council as a hate group.
Liberty Counsel is a Christian extremist law firm founded by Mat Staver, a former Seventh-Day Adventist pastor, and affiliated since 2004 with the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. On the SPLC watchlist of hard-line anti-gay groups.
National Organization for Marriage was founded in 2007 by anti-gay crusader and erstwhile Bush-employed columnist Maggie Gallagher, along with (surprise!) Robert P. George. NOM is now nominally headed by Brian Brown, who was deemed to be a less loathsome public face for the organization, but Gallagher is still the Chairman of the Board. NOM is on the SPLC watchlist of hard-line anti-gay groups.
It’s hard to avoid thinking that CPAC is probably better off without all of these groups. On the other hand, the United States would be better off without them or CPAC.