Prior to the start of CPAC this year, much ado was made of the Log Cabin Republicans not being accepted as a sponsor for the annual conservative event. This brought back memories of the various battles which GOProud had with the ACU over the years, but the history of both the LCR and the organization which hosts the conference every year is a bit more complicated. In the end, though, things seem to have worked out, and the group took part in significant aspects of the conference. I had the opportunity to sit down this weekend with Gregory Angelo, the National Executive Director of LCR, to find out where things stood. Following are a few of his comments during our interview.
There was some confusion between the Log Cabin Republicans and the American Conservative Union in the lead up to CPAC this year. We reached a detente at the eleventh hour. They offered us an olive branch to appear on this [Putin and Russia] panel which I thought was a tremendous opportunity and a step in the right direction. Having had a lack of communication with the ACU in the weeks leading up to CPAC, the last eight days have been nothing but a delight, working with [American Conservative Union Chair] Matt Schlapp, Dan Schneider and his team, and this was a tremendous opportunity.
The panel was absolutely packed. This was an opportunity to not only put forth a specific LCR fingerprint on the discussion that was happening here at CPAC, but also to connect our history to this panel. One of the things I try to evangelize here is our founding and this organization’s connection to Ronald Reagan. LCR was not founded to be the same sex marriage Republicans. In fact, at our founding that was something that wasn’t even on the radar. Actually it was anti-gay propaganda laws that the California State legislature was seeking to pass and put forward as a referendum to voters, called The Briggs Initiative…
Instead of passing by two to one, the Briggs Initiative failed by two to one because Ronald Reagan, who had been Governor of California and was gearing up to run for President of the United States, came out against it. He said it would be unnecessary and would lead to unintended consequences. So anti-gay propaganda laws, and fighting those, is actually the reason for the founding of LCR. We’re reminding the audience here at CPAC of that, an audience that might be largely unaware given the amount of time that’s passed. It was something that I couldn’t pass up.
Greg seems to have made the most of his opportunity. He was one of the featured speakers at the previously mentioned Putin and Russia panel which I wrote about here before, speaking about initiatives which the organization is pushing to bring more pressure on the Russians in terms of their human rights violations. The event was, as he mentioned, packed to the point where there was no standing room left along the walls and the entire panel was quite well received.
It sounds like the LCR has gone a long way toward mending their fences with CPAC. Whether they become sponsors in the years to come remains to be seen.