Conservatives battle: Should GOProud attend CPAC?

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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The participation of gay conservative organization GOProud in this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference has resulted in several socially conservative organizations declaring their intention to skip the annual event.

On Wednesday, the Washington Times reported that the Heritage Foundation will join the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, the Media Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage and others in declining to attend.

It’s not clear whether the Heritage Foundation’s decision not to participate is related to the involvement of GOProud. Heritage was not available for comment.

GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia told The Daily Caller that the controversy over his group’s involvement was “by and large driven by a man by the name of Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily.”

“He realized that it got him a lot of publicity,” said LaSalvia, who added that this prompted Farah to fan the flames of controversy for a second year. GOProud first attended CPAC in 2010.

LaSalvia told TheDC that he hasn’t been asked if GOProud would consider backing out of CPAC if the controversy reaches a certain threshold, but affirmed that the organization has no plans to abandon its participation. “We’re a conservative organization, I’d put our conservative credentials up to anyone’s,” LaSalvia said. “We are part of conservative movement. Period.”

Joseph Farah, the editor and chief executive of WorldNetDaily, told TheDC, “It’s no secret I think those calling the shots at CPAC have lost all their moral bearings… I am delighted that so many big guns of conservatism have done the right thing with CPAC this year.”

Farah is skeptical of being assigned credit, however, telling TheDC that he merely reported on newsworthy material. “We didn’t manufacture the facts, we merely reported them,” says Farah.

Farah expects more groups to announce CPAC boycotts before the February 10-12 event kicks off.