The Log Cabin Republicans have announced that they will stop seeking to participate in the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) while gay conservatives are banned from being sponsors, panelists or speakers.
Log Cabin Republicans executive director Gregory T Angelo made the announcement in a column for the Daily Caller in which he decried CPAC organizers the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) failure to allow gay conservatives to participate openly in the conference’s program of events.
‘To the credit of the American Conservative Union (ACU), which produces CPAC each year, there has never been a ban on anyone “attending” CPAC,’ Angelo wrote.
‘Log Cabin Republicans members attend every year, as paying guests … CPAC has never had a policy of discrimination when it comes to individuals being “allowed” to attend.
‘The official “ban” was on any formal participation by gay conservatives as sponsors, panelists, or speakers.
‘That ban was something Log Cabin Republicans had been pushing against for weeks, negotiating via intermediaries with ACU leadership to have some degree of formal participation in CPAC’s program of events.
‘At a time when state legislatures around the country are proposing, debating and — in some cases — passing legislation that allows individuals to discriminate against Americans exclusively because of their sexual orientation, we could not in good conscience agree to a settlement in which Log Cabin Republicans was expected to celebrate the equivalent of not being allowed to sit at the lunch counter but still be served food, or sitting in the back of the bus, as long as we were allowed to ride it.
‘Any official participation from Log Cabin Republicans at CPAC needs to be meaningful, and in our estimation meaningful participation does not begin and end with buying a ticket to CPAC. We asked for a seat at the table — quite literally — at the “Reaching Out” panel at this year’s conference. It seemed a natural fit for LCR, while also giving CPAC the benefit of showing their inclusion of gay conservatives at an event in which the focus was not specifically about gay issues. We were rebuffed.’
Angelo wrote that the ACU had more to gain by embracing gay conservatives than it had to lose.
‘At this pivotal time in our nation’s history, our members expect Log Cabin Republicans to stand up for what’s right, and that’s what we’re doing this year,’ Angelo wrote.
‘We don’t need the ACU; the ACU needs us. Like all good conservatives, we want conservatives to win. With a preponderance of Americans in support of equal rights for gay Americans, Log Cabin Republicans’ mantra that “inclusion wins” has never been more relevant. It’s not too late for the ACU to embrace that, allow us formal participation on the “Reaching Out” panel, and welcome Log Cabin Republicans as meaningful participants at this year’s CPAC.’
The Log Cabin Republicans are the oldest gay Republican group in the United States and take their name from the log cabin Abraham Lincoln grew up in.
Lincoln was rumored to have been in a same-sex relationship with Joshua Fry Speed – a businessman and friend who Lincoln shared a bed with for several years before both married into wealthy families.