In previous years, the ACU has rationalized the exclusion of gay rights groups on the grounds that they aren’t sufficiently conservative. Angelo said he systematically pushed back against that argument by pointing to the organization’s support for Obamacare repeal and Second Amendment rights and its stance on government spending.
“CPAC has a problem allowing any formal recognition for organizations affiliated with gay people,” Angelo said. “That is the only logical conclusion to come to.”
Angelo said he’d initally hoped his group would be able to co-sponsor the event, which would have enabled it to have a booth in the exhibition hall. He said he spoke with Matt Schlapp, the ACU’s new chairman, in July 2014 in an effort to improve relations that had frayed from past exclusions. That discussion, held in Schlapp’s Virginia office, lasted for an hour, Angelo said, and the two continued to communicate through December. But then their interactions ended.