The influential Western Conservative Summit has barred a gay Republican group from participating as a “partner, exhibitor, or advertiser.” The group disagrees with the event planners’ decision but respects their right to deny service or association to anyone they want.
The Colorado Log Cabin Republicans is a group representing LGBT conservatives and their allies. The Colorado chapter paid their $250 fee to set up a booth, but the summit organizers recently sent them a letter saying they would not be allowed to exhibit because of their beliefs on homosexuality.
According to the Denver Post, the group’s Secretary of State, Michael Carr, conceded that the Western Conservative Summit has the right to deny them a booth, acknowledging that “it is a pretty common issue we face. They’ll take our money, but want us in the closet.”
Nevertheless, Carr believes the group is doing a disservice to the Republican brand.
“This is the most important time for us to be reaching out to all types of groups and people, all types of Republicans, all types of conservatives. Young people especially want to see a robust political debate and this dis-invitation is the exact opposite of that. Being perceived as anti-gay turns young people off even more than it does the general public.”
According to Pew Research conducted last year, the majority of Republicans still don’t approve of gay marriage, only 39 percent approve compared to the national average of 54 percent. Likewise, about 44 percent of self-identified Republicans believe gay families are bad for society.
Nevertheless, the more and more states have gradually legalized gay marriage. Furthermore, Republican opposition to LGBT issues will likely wane in time.
The same Pew study showed the majority of young Republicans, age 18 to 29, approve of gay marriage and don’t believe homosexual families are bad for American society. With the writing on the wall, some politicians have begun reversing their stance on gay rights issues.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, even staunch social conservative Michelle Bachmann has shown signs of giving up on the fight against gay marriage.
Still, one area that Republicans are generally in agreement is the right of organizations, including the Western Conservative Summit, to deny services based on their religious beliefs.
According to the Western Conservative Summit website, the summit reserves the right to deny a platform for any group advocating policy against their own core beliefs, including “higher taxes, climate extremism, disarmament, marijuana, abortion, gay marriage, abridgment of religious freedom, or the like…”
The Centennial Institute sponsors the Western Conservative Summit, and the Colorado Christian University is closely affiliated. This year’s event will include talks from Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.
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