The gay conservative group GO Proud, who has recently come to the defense of GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, has been informed by the American Conservative Union that they will not not be invited to participate in the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
GOProud had been a participant in CPAC for the past two years, even being a co-sponsor of the 2011 conference — a move which sparked massive boycotts of the event from social conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation, the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council.
In a letter addressed to Jimmy LaSalvia, the executive director of GOProud, ACU Director Gregg Keller informed the organization that they would not be invited to participate formally in the conference, but that individuals from the organization could still attend.
GOProud released a statement on Saturday condemning the ACU’s decision to effectively bar the gay group from any formal role in CPAC, saying,
“We are deeply disappointed at the decision of the American Conservative Union to bar GOProud from participating in CPAC. They are well within their right to do so, but a decision like this will have consequences.
“For the last two years, GOProud has sought to support CPAC and keep the conservative movement united. Unfortunately, elements inside and outside of ACU have pushed their own narrow, divisive and sometimes personal agenda. They have done so at the expense of the conservative movement.”
Chris Barron, chairman of GOProud, even went so far as saying in an interview on CNN that the controversy over Bachmann’s anti-gay beliefs was a “sideshow” issue, and that the economy and defeating President Obama were more important issues to focus on.