Gay Conservatism A Non-Issue At CPAC 2014, But Progressives Take Shots Anyway

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Whether to cast the canopy of the conservative Big Tent wide enough to welcome homosexuals into the fold has largely been a non-issue at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, thanks in no small part to the controversial dis-invite of another marginal group: conservative atheists.

This year’s spat between the American Atheists and the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, assured homosexual conservatives, perhaps only temporarily, a lower profile in the ongoing battle to define the territorial boundaries of organized conservatism. There’s been little coverage of any GOP-versus-the-gays controversy emanating from CPAC this year.

But that hasn’t stopped the progressive left from taking shots from afar. The Huffington Post released a predictable article today bashing CPAC’s atmosphere of alleged intolerance, carrying the flag for the subversive leftist tactics that label all conservative organizations and gatherings an exclusionary form of so-called “hate speech.”

A tiresomely disproportionate amount of ink (pixels?) gets wasted on the inclusion/exclusion argument when it  comes to homosexuality in the GOP, largely because the percentage of homosexuals – both conservative and otherwise – who make up the American population is far smaller than the abundance of sensational eyeball-seeking headlines would suggest.

But here we are yet again, staring down another progressive rant that seeks to take an important, but marginal, issue and co-opt the argument by painting with the broadest possible brush.

“The few times the issue of gay rights has come up at CPAC were indirect mentions – and they weren’t in the direction of inclusion,” the HuffPo story states. “On Thursday, for example, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) referenced his support for the star of the reality TV show ‘Duck Dynasty,’ who faced a backlash after making anti-gay remarks.”

Nice try, noted Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollak.

Having just published a column in which I called the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference “the gayest CPAC ever,” I was surprised to read a piece by Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post claiming that gay rights were “missing” at CPAC. Terkel claims that gay issues weren’t mentioned at all at the conference.

…Terkel appears to have filed her story from the conference (the dateline is “NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.”) at 1:15 p.m. EST. Perhaps she should have waited about 25 minutes, because the topic of gay rights came up on a panel discussion about the relationship between libertarians and social conservatives.

One of those on the panel was conservative talk show host Michael Medved, who earned applause from the audience for defending the right of gay couples to adopt children.

But why let the facts ruin a good story attack, right? So file early, and file often.

Of course, the left comes at the gay rights issue primarily with a strategy of defending gay marriage. That’s a red herring for many libertarians, who wish for a government that bows out of the marriage “recognition” game for all Americans who want their personal business, including the rituals they embrace without any need for government recognition or sanction, to remain personal.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.