President Ronald Reagan at CPAC
President Ronald Reagan at CPAC

Various factions are developing among GOP groups over whether the American Conservative Union (ACU), headed by David Keene, should have accepted a “homosexual rights” group (GOProud) to be a co-sponsor of its annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which begins February 10th.  Several groups are boycotting the event, such as the Heritage Foundation, the Family Research Council, The American Principles Project, and the American Family Association.  In addition, politicians Mike Huckabee and Jim DeMint have declined invitations. Past keynote speakers have included Ann Coulter, President Ronald Reagan (14 years in a row!) and Glenn Beck.

Last year, shouting matches erupted when young speakers Alexander McCobin and Ryan Sorba squared off on the issue.  This year, Matt Drudge sidekick Andrew Breitbart, never one to avoid trouble,  is hosting a bash to thank CPAC for inviting GOProud.

Other potential presidential candidates who plan to attend this year include Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich. The complete list of confirmed speakers is below.

Sarah Palin will not be appearing, but she did not use the words GOProud, homosexual, or gay when asked whether she was going to CPAC by David Brody of CBN.  She said she doesn’t have time, not that she is boycotting it:

“Well, I’ve never attended a CPAC conference ever so I was a little taken aback this go around when I couldn’t make it to this one either and then there was a speculation well I either agree or disagree with some of the groups or issues that CPAC is discussing.  It really is a matter of time for me. But when it comes to and David, perhaps what it is that you’re suggesting in the question is should the GOP, should conservatives not reach out to others, not participate in events or forums that perhaps are rising within those forums are issues that maybe we don’t personally agree with?  And I say no, it’s like you being on a panel shoot, with a bunch of the liberal folks whom you have been on and you provide good information and balance, and you allow for healthy debate, which is needed in order for people to gather information and make up their own minds about issues.  I look at participation in an event like CPAC or any other event, along, or kind of in that same vein as the more information that people have the better.”

Based on last years comments, it is doubtful that Mike Huckabee will be attending: “CPAC has becoming increasingly more libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn’t go this year.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told Fox News that they would not participate again this year because of its leftward drift, not only because of the inclusion of GOProud, but also its possible connection with the Muslim Brotherhood, through its founder’s son, Suhail Khan, and ACU board member. This issue was raised by by Frank Gaffney (according to World Net Daily News).

An American Principles Project Press press release praising Jim DeMint for boycotting the event said inviting GOProud is “fundamentally incompatible with a movement that has long embraced the ideals of family and faith.”

Crossposted at Race42012.

Here is the list of confirmed speakers:

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Gov. Haley Barbour

Hon. John Bolton

Andrew Breitbart

Arthur Brooks

Herman Cain

Ann Coulter

Gov. Mitch Daniels

Hon. Newt Gingrich

David Horowitz

Wayne LaPierre

Sen. Mike Lee

Sen. Mitch McConnell

Rep. Ron Paul

Sen. Rand Paul

Hon. Tim Pawlenty

Gov. Rick Perry

Hon. Mitt Romney

Hon. Donald Rumsfeld

Rep. Paul Ryan

Hon. Rick Santorum

Phyllis Schlafly

Sen. John Thune

Rep. Allen West

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