Last week the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) included some surprises. For the first time a group of gay conservatives, GOProud, was a sponsor. Despite the loss of a long time sponsor, CPAC stuck with GOProud. Later, from the podium, Alexander McCobin. from Students For Liberty, conservative student group, spoke positively of GOProud’s inclusion, resulting in scattered boos, which were drowned out by applause. A few minutes later, another speaker, Ryan Sorba, started an anti-gay rant, which was not at all appreciated by the crowd. If you get your news from The Daily Show, you might have seen that clip. Here’s a much more extensive write up by Bruce Carroll (GayPatriot.org), including video clips of both podium speeches.
In my view this is unequivocally a good thing for the GOP and for gays, although some of my conservative friends may disagree. I say this not only from a libertarian, live-and-let-live, standpoint. It’s also good political calculus, as Carroll explains. The votes of gays, like those of blacks, are taken for granted by Democrats. Conservative gays find coming out as a conservative to gays is more dangerous than coming out as gay to conservatives. Welcoming pro-freedom, pro-capitalism gays into a “conservatarian” coalition should be a no-brainer.
I’ve written before about the gay marriage issue, including citing Ryne’s now-erased blog at the time. Briefly, the route that proponents need to take on this is to enact it through legislative means, not judicial fiat. Two things should be perfectly clear on this issue today: 1) a majority of the US population does not support gay marriage at present; and 2) a substantial minority, if not a majority, of the population is personally accepting of gays.
Having fierce opposition to gay marriage front and center in the conservative/GOP message dovetails very nicely with the Democrat/MSM narrative of “conservative=bigot.” Do we really need to feed that?
UPDATE: Fixed the name of GOProud and added a link.