Groups supporting ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal or gay marriage will no longer be allowed to participate at CPAC

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Al Cardenas, the new chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), announced on CSPAN Wednesday that his organization, which hosts the annual CPAC event, will now vet organizations before allowing them to participate.

The statement hints that gay conservative organization GOProud, a group whose participation infuriated social conservatives, and other groups determined insufficiently conservative by the ACU may not be welcome at next year’s 2012 CPAC.

Cardenas said that groups advocating for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” or supporting gay marriage would not be welcome.

“If you are a group, and this has got nothing to do with your orientation,” said Cardenes, “of straight couples, and you advocate gay marriage, that’s not within the scope of what we believe the three legs of the stool of the movement are.”

The commonly held three legs of the conservative movement include fiscal conservatism, social conservatism, and national defense conservatism. The new vetting process may have farther-reaching implications if all organizations are tested for adherence to all three legs.

Cardenas stressed that gay individuals would remain welcome to attend CPAC.

“It has got to do with the principles you advocate” said Cardenas. “There are a number of gays in America who don’t advocate gays in the military or gay marriage. They’ll fit within the tent.”

Repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has been authorized by Congress and is expected to be implemented by the end of 2011. Same-sex marriage thus remains the major salient issue in Cardenas’ statement. GOProud does not support action to legalize same-sex marriage at the federal level, saying the issue is for states to decide.

GOProud Chairman Christopher Barron told TheDC, “We have been told by multiple sources on the ACU board that no decision has been made about GOProud and CPAC 2012.”

“If there is a vetting process that looks at the policy positions held by the participating organizations then GOProud will clearly be back as a sponsor next year,” said Barron.

Barron said that his organization’s legislative agenda “makes it clear that we are not just a kinda conservative organization we are a *very* conservative organization.”

WATCH: Al Cardenas discusses the future of conservatism on CSPAN:

Will Rahn contributed to this report.