Gay rights groups willfully ignore positive Palin, Angle comments at CPAC; GOProud hits back

Jeff Winkler Contributor
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The nation’s largest gay rights advocacy organization, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), has instituted its own “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy toward conservative firebrands Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle after they implicitly — but clearly — voiced support for the gay-oriented Republican group GOProud.

The buzz surrounding GOProud’s involvement in this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has been the focus of media attention, after groups that normally participate in the “conservative Woodstock” pulled out of an event accepting of a self-identified gay group.

On Wednesday, Palin reiterated her support for CPAC’s inclusion of “different, diverse groups … involved in political discourse.” Palin will not be in attendance at the conservative-fest, but told the Huffington Post that she is “always in favor of freedom” and encourages “discussion.”

Angle, unlike other high-profile political figures, did not boycott CPAC because of GOProud’s involvement. In attendance herself, Angle echoed Palin’s sentiment when she told the Huffington Post: “We need to be very careful when we get to talk about our opinions and be inclusive.”

The HRC — whose stated goal is to ”achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality” — appears to be holding a second Day of Silence.

“We have no comment on this matter,” HRC Deputy Press Secretary Paul Guequierre told The Daily Caller when asked for a comment regarding Palin and Angle’s recent support of GOProud.

Other prominent nationwide gay-rights organizations, like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), did not respond to numerous inquires from TheDC regarding Palin and Angle’s comments. On its website, GLAAD does, however, state that by “ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality.”

Another organization, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force referred similar questions regarding Palin and Angle to GOProud.

Having two of America’s most prominent conservative women vocally indicate their acceptance of alternative lifestyles seems like a positive sign for “equal rights” groups like the HRC, as well as an opportunity to foster further discussion. So what gives?

“It’s not surprising to me. At the end of the day, Human Rights Campaign is nothing more than a partisan Democratic organization,” GOProud’s Chris Barron told TheDC.

“They spend days publicly attacking something [Sarah Palin’s] teenage daughter said on Facebook — on Facebook; but they can’t bring themselves to thank Gov. Palin for having the courage to stand up for gay people,” said Barron. “It speaks volumes about what a joke that entire organization is.”

According to its internal search engine, the HRC has more than 60 press releases related to Sarah Palin — none of which are positive. One release, which relates to Bristol Palin’s Facebook incident, is titled, “HRC to Sarah Palin: Two Days of Silence, Will You Speak Up?”

“They ought to save money on rent and move in with the DNC, because they’re one in the same organization,” said Barron. “They hold themselves out as a nonpartisan/bipartisan organization, and things like this just prove that nothing could be further from the truth.”

Barron said that unlike the supposed gay rights focus of the partisan groups, GOProud is much more consistent in supporting equality. He noted GOProud’s support of repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” for which the group has taken criticism from conservatives such as Erick Erickson.

As for the gay rights groups, Barron says they should at least have the decency to come out of the closet.

“If they want to be the gay Democratic wing, then they ought to be honest,” he said.

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