Ben Johnson

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CPAC sponsor to host pro-gay panel

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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 12, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – After the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) denied a featured role to a homosexual “marriage” advocacy organization, one of CPAC's sponsors has decided to hold a panel promoting the acceptance of homosexuality at the annual gathering.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has gathered a six-person panel entitled, “A Rainbow on the Right: Growing the Coalition, Bringing Tolerance Out of the Closet.” It will include two members of GOProud, President Jimmy DeSalvia and Liz Mair. They will speak with supportive figures such as Fox News analyst Margaret Hoover, National Review Editor Jonah Goldberg, Washington Post “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin, and Fred Smith Jr. of CEI.

“As a [CPAC] sponsor, CEI gets use of a room for two hours,” said CEI spokesman Brian McNicoll, who says he ran the theme of the panel past CPAC before announcing it to the public. 

“This is the revolt of a new generation of conservatives who are more inclusive and more media savvy,” Jennifer Rubin wrote. “They understand that gay rights (I would say not unlike immigration reform) is increasingly a 'gateway' issue for voters. If politicians are perceived as intolerant and unwelcoming on this issue, many voters...women, minorities, younger voters, moderate urbanites, won’t listen to them on other issues.”

Since CEI is hosting the discussion, it is not an official CPAC panel. GOProud's LaSalvia said he was “so grateful to our friends at CEI” for allowing him to address its attendees.

The decision not to invite those who believe in redefining marriage to a conservative event has been met with resistance by other portions of the Beltway Right.

National Review published an unsigned editorial, as well as a number of articles including a scathing piece by Goldberg, taking CPAC to task for excluding GOProud, which announced its support for same-sex “marriage” in January.

Instead, family values will play a larger role in the 2013 conference, which begins on Thursday.

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Aside from politicians, several conservative activists known for their advocacy of traditional marriage will have prominent positions at this year's CPAC.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, will take part in a panel entitled “Stop THIS: Threats, Harassment, Intimidation, Slander, and Bullying from the Obama administration,” on Thursday evening.

Dr. Richard Land and Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse will be part of an official CPAC panel on “Fatherless America” Friday afternoon.

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly will deliver an address on Saturday afternoon, as will Media Research Center head Brent Bozell.

“We expect all Republican officials to uphold the [party] platform,” Schlafly recently wrote to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus. “The endorsement of same-sex marriage is not acceptable.”

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