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CPAC Conference Dissolves Into Right-Wing Civil War Over Gay Rights

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"CPAC Conference Dissolves Into Right-Wing Civil War Over Gay Rights"

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Late last year, the pro-gay rights Republican organization GOProud announced that it would co-sponsor the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), prompting a right-wing backlash which forced conference organizers to deny the organization a speaking spot during the conference. Today, Alexander McCobin, a member of Students for Liberty, took part of his speaking time to thank conference organizers for allowing GOProud to co-sponsor the conference, noting that Students for Liberty asks its members to be “socially tolerant and fiscally responsible.” McCobin was immediately met with angry boos and heckling by the audience:

MCCOBIN: In the name of freedom, I would like to also thank the American Conservative Union for welcoming GOProud as a co-sponsor of this event. (loud boos) Not because of any politics, but because of the message that it sends: If what you truly care about is freedom, limited government, and prosperity, then this symbol is a step in the right direction, and look to the student movement for support! (heckling) The typical Student’s response is to be socially tolerant and fiscally responsible. Students today recognize that freedom does not come in pieces. It is a single concept that we must defend at all times.

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A few minutes later, Young Americans for Freedom activist Ryan Sorba approached the podium and slammed GOProud and engaged in a hostile shouting match with pro-gay rights students in the audience, singling out Executive Director of Young Americans for Liberty Jeff Frazee:

SORBA: I want to condemn CPAC for bringing GOProud to this event! (loud booing) I love it. I love it. Guess what. Guess what. Alright. Civil rights are granted in natural rights. Natural rights are granted in human nature. Human nature is a rational substance in relationship. The intelligible end of reproductive act is reproduction. Do you understand that? Civil rights when they conflict with natural rights are (yelling) No YOU sit down. The lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do. The lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do. Alright? Bring it. Jeff Frazee, guess what, you just made an enemy out of me, buddy. Yeah you, guess what. YOU just made an enemy out of me, thanks a lot.

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Yesterday, the anti-gay rights National Organization for Marriage criticized the presence of GOProud at the conference in a news release following a joint appearance on CNN, prompting an acerbic response from GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia. “When the cameras were rolling they were very nice,” LaSalvia said. “Now that the cameras aren’t rolling, rather than walking 20 feet over to us, they fire off a news release. What kind of man can’t walk across the row to deliver a message? I just have a question for them: Who’s the pansy at CPAC? What wusses. Just come over. Don’t play nice if you’re not going to be nice.”

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