Yesterday, National Journal excitedly reported that “the kinder, gentler Conservative Political Action Conference” has decided to “welcome” GOProud back to the fold after being kicked out in 2011. National Journal however was very clear about the limits of that so-called welcome:
Two former GOProud summer interns, Ross Hemminger and Matt Bechstein, took over last summer and sought to repair the bitterly frayed relationship. Under a compromise reached last week, they will attend the March 6-8 gathering as guests, without sponsorship or a booth. GOProud sees the lower-profile role as an important first step.
In other words, they’re welcome as long as they sit quitely and don’t say anything. COProud co-founder Chris Barron resigned from the board following the announcement, calling the move an “unconditional surrender”:
“Last night I resigned from the Board of GOProud, the organization that I co-founded back in April of 2009. I cannot in good conscience sit by and watch as the current leadership of the organization disingenuously pawns off an unconditional surrender to the forces of bigotry as some sort of ‘compromise,’” Barron told BuzzFeed. “Nothing has changed in regards to GOProud and CPAC, GOProud does not have a booth, they are not a sponsor, they are not participating in any formal sense – individual members can attend and that’s exactly the terms ACU dictated the previous few years.”
…”There was a time when GOProud was on the front lines of the fight for a more inclusive conservative movement –- we won some of those battles and we lost some of those battles, but we were always honest about the outcome. If the current leadership of GOProud, or whats left of it, believes that unconditional surrender to the forces of intolerance is in the best interest of the organization, than they should just be honest about it,” he said
Earlier this year, another GOProud co-founder, Jimmy LaSalvia, announced that he was leaving the Republican Party altogether, citing “the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP.” He resigned as GOProud’s Executive Directer last year to work for the ACLU.