New CPAC Head: "It's Going To Be Difficult To Continue The Relationship" With GOProud
February 10, 2011 7:13 pm ET by Equality Matters staff
The FrumForum reported today that Al Cardenas, the new chair of the American Conservative Union -- the group that organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) -- stated that "it's going to be difficult to continue the relationship" with GOProud, a group that describes itself as a group for gay conservatives and their allies:
The new chair of the American Conservative Union, Al Cardenas, today distanced his organization from GOProud, telling FrumForum in an exclusive interview that "it's going to be difficult to continue the relationship" with the gay conservative organization.
The ACU, which annually organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference, has faced some criticism for including GOProud as a co-sponsor for the second year in a row. Socially conservative organizations have denounced the move, and the Heritage Foundation claimed that GOProud's inclusion was part of their decision to opt-out.
Cardenas, who was selected yesterday to replace outgoing chairman David Keene, told FrumForum that he disapproved of GOProud's response to the furor.
"I have been disappointed with their website and their quotes in the media, taunting organizations that are respected in our movement and part of our movement, and that's not acceptable. And that puts them in a difficult light in terms of how I view things," said Cardenas.
Cardenas also told the FrumForum that it isn't possible to support gay marriage and be "a Ronald Reagan conservative," adding that as chairman, he will focus on "making sure that our true friends never leave the table":
Asked about whether he values a big tent approach to conservatism, Cardenas said that he did - but that his vision applied principally to reaching out to different minorities and ethnic groups.
"There are not enough African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities here. That diversity is critical - you don't need to change your value system to attract more diversity into the movement... [but] I'm not going to - for the sake of being inclusive - change the principles that have made the movement what it is," said Cardenas.
"David [Keene] invited these folks [GOProud] in an effort to be inclusive... Having friends of ours leaving... presents difficulties to me," he said. "There's always going to be some tension, [but] there should never be any tension between time-tested values."
Asked if someone who supported gay marriage could be a conservative, Cardenas replied, "Not a Ronald Reagan conservative... I will say this: we adopted a resolution unanimously at ACU advocating traditional marriage between a man and a woman, so that answers how we feel on the issue."
Cardenas says that his priorities as the new ACU chairman will be focused on "making sure that our true friends never leave the table."