Conservative activist raises concerns after comments from GOProud leader
February 11th, 2011
09:33 AM ET
4 years ago

Conservative activist raises concerns after comments from GOProud leader

Washington (CNN) - The controversy over the participation of a conservative group of gay and lesbians as part of this year's Conservative Political Action Conference is taking a new twist. Al Cardenas, the new chairman of the American Conservative Union and a prime sponsor of the event, took issue with some comments made by a member of the board of GOProud. Already several prominent social conservative groups had decided to boycott the conference because GOProud was one of about 100 "participating organizations."

"We expect civility amongst all of our participating organizations, and I was concerned about statements on their website and comments made towards members of our board, participating organizations. And there is a certain amount of decorum we expect from anyone who participates as an organization here. After all they are not coming in as an individual activist. They are coming in as an organization," Cardenas told reporters Friday morning.

"I expressed my disappointment over over their discourse over the last few days. I notice they issued an apology yesterday," Cardenas said calling that "a good start."

GOProud Board Chairman Christopher Barron called Cleta Mitchell, a prominent Republican lawyer and a board member of the American Conservative Union, a "nasty bigot" in an interview talking about the boycott of some groups.

After Cardenas initially raised some concerns Thursday in an interview with David Frum, GOProud Board Chairman Christopher Barron issued a statement saying "For the past six months, we have watched as unfair and untrue attacks have been leveled against our organization, our allies, our friends and sometimes even their families. Everyone has their breaking point and clearly in my interview with Metro Weekly I had reached mine. I shouldn't have used the language that I did to describe Cleta Mitchell and for that I apologize."

GOProud had no further comment.

As for whether GOProud would be welcome to take part in next year's CPAC, Cardenas was non-committal. "We had a significant waiting list this year for people, for organizations that wanted to be participating organizations. I met quite a few who gave me their card and who didn't want to miss out next year. So actually that is a good problem to have," Cardneas said. "Where we go from here. We are going to start thinking about that after CPAC, not during CPAC."

The conference is the largest annual gathering of conservative activists and with just under a year to go until the start of the GOP presidential caucus and primary season, it's also considered the first major cattle call for possible Republican White House hopefuls.


Filed under: CPAC 2011
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Root and stem

    No big deal. Very few gays in the GOP anyway. Now if this were a crack addict wanting formal recognition by the Dems, that would be a big deal since it is such a large share of the Dem demographic.

    February 11, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. Indie Woman in Denver

    At least the GOProud folks have some class, unlike the anti-gay conservatives (and I recognize that not all conservatives are anti-gay) who are filled with such hate that they boycotted the event.

    February 11, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  3. old_man_grumpus

    Love how this article on a respected news website introduces someone by last name ("Cardenas") with no further information. What great reporting. Can I be a CNN Senior Editor too?

    February 11, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. old_man_grumpus

    Love how this article on a respected news website introduces someone by last name ("Cardenas") with no further information. What great reporting. Can I be a CNN Senior Producer too?

    February 11, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  5. Marie MD

    The term conservative gays and lesbians makes absolutely no sense about a party who claim to be christians but hate anyone " not like them"
    The only one to get away with it is cheney!

    February 11, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. doug

    The GOP is the only viable party that truly celebrates diversity, unlike the Democrats, Republicans believe that each and every American, regardless of their skin color or their economic conditions, is in charge of their own destiny and is free to decide their own ideology and views.

    Yes, the right has its fringe wackos, but unlike the Democrats they make up at best 5 or 10% of the right, not 80% as is the case with the Democrat party. It surely is not the Democratic party, there is nothing democratic about wishing harm on your fellow Americans for their political views. Had Nanci Pelosi's daughter been on Dancing with the stars, the show would not have recieved thousands of death threats.

    February 11, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. Andrew from Texas

    Its obvious that a division needs to form with the republican party. One cannot declare to stand for civil rights, and liberty in this country and not give it to every legal citizen. You pay taxes you get freedom and liberty. There is a direct tie between bigotry, and the religious members of the conservative party you can not over look this. Untill the religious right learns that their morality is not the only morality that existists in america they will continue to drive the nail into their own party. I highly urge any members current with the GOP to either drive these members out of their party that enforce ignorance and bigotry. Or to seperate from the GOP. If you stand for smaller government, fiscal conservative, and for EVERY citizen to have liberty in america join the libertarian party. Strong third parties only enrich and diversivfy our political process.

    February 11, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. indy

    Is this group a Palin creation? Group of Racists and bigots! Where do these nuts come from,its called THE RICH!!!! LOL

    February 11, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  9. jbaby

    Rick Santorum

    “The question is – and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that, is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person, human life is not a person, then, I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘no we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.’”Yet he say"s US 'belongs to God'! What a hypocrite!!!!

    February 11, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. Larry Crouse

    Hows that more fredom, more liberty and less government intrusion working out for you GOPers?

    February 11, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Now, children, play nice. You are acting like a bunch of Democrats!

    February 11, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. Larry Crouse

    Hows that more freedom, more liberty and less government intrusion working out for you GOPers?

    February 11, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. once upon a horse

    I have NO sympathy whatsoever for these so-called gay conservative groups. The RNC and GOP have shown time and time again that they not only don't support gays but many abhorr their lifestyles all together. Yet they still want to try to be Republicans. As sad as it sounds GOPride and the Log Cabin Republicans are getting just what they deserve. It's been Progressive and DNC groups that have supported and moved their agenda, not the GOP!

    February 11, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Al-NY,NY

    GOProud Board Chairman Christopher Barron called Cleta Mitchell, a prominent Republican lawyer and a board member of the American Conservative Union, a "nasty bigot" in an interview talking about the boycott of some groups.
    ------------------

    ..and they apologized for what....telling the truth????

    February 11, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. anagram_kid

    The new GOP motto – If you don't agree with me on everything, I cannot agree with you on anything.

    February 11, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Rsprings

    Just shows you, if you want to be part of the crowd, you should not attack those who you may have common goals just because you disagree on some.

    February 11, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. carolyn

    Does anyone really think CPAC conservatives will ever except or tolerate any one they consider undesirable and who doesn't fit their anituquated thinking.

    February 11, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    The GOP is anti-gay......for religious reasons, and religion has no place in government.

    February 11, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. T'sah from Virginia

    GOProud – you will be welcomed to a Democratic Event!!!!

    February 11, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. ellid

    Let me get this straight:

    GOProud is supposed to apologize for finally calling out another conservative organization on its rampant and blatant bigotry, while hate groups like Concerned Women for America get a free pass.

    Nice.

    February 11, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. John

    Well maybe they will wake up and figure out that a lot of the very socially conservative activists are in fact "nasty bigots" or at least very homophobic.

    February 11, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. rs

    ...and the circular Republican/TP firing squad begins anew...

    February 11, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  23. A keen observer

    Just goes to show that republicans favor angry old white guys and undereducated women.

    February 11, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. ThinkAgain

    They expect "decorum" from their participants?!? This, from the party that has nothing to offer our country except lies, fear, hatred and division? From the party that encourages all the wackos in its ranks to spew the most hateful rhetoric about our president?

    Get real! Republicans wouldn't know "decorum" if it bit them in the behind.

    February 11, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Ty

    Smoke Screen........they need the gay's vote.......why do the gay's think that the REP care about them and their issue.
    Talking about HOPE.....this won't happen........if they REP do this than they will stand for more........abortions....etc.
    Gays they dont give a damn about you.....just want your VOTE

    February 11, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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