In a phone interview with TheDC, Cardenas said banning GOProud from co-sponsorship for behavioral issues was his personal motivation, but that other members of ACU’s board had different reasons — including opposition to homosexuality — when the board voted to expel the group.

“To be candid with you, our board vote is comprised of … basically three groups,” Cardenas said: “strong social conservatives” who are opposed on social issues grounds, libertarians who support GOProud’s inclusion, and traditional marriage advocates who welcome GOProud’s presence.

Those social conservatives who oppose the group think “they should not be invited, period,” Cardenas explained.

That group has been led by board members Cleta Mitchell and Morton Blackwell, according to a GOProud-supportive source with knowledge of the ACU board.

Mitchell declined to comment for this report, but in a 2012 interview with the blog ChicagoNow, she clearly stated her opposition to GOProud.

“Well they aren’t committed to the fundamental principles of the movement,” Mitchell reportedly said. “It would be like ‘Conservatives for Gun Control’ — it’s an oxymoron.”

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist ranks among the libertarians, Cardenas told TheDC, pointing out that he’s a board member of both GOProud and the ACU.

“We’ve got a group of libertarians on the board who believe that GOProud definitely should be invited, regardless of the civility issue,” Cardenas offered.