goproudSocial conservatives are apoplectic because the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is allowing the LGBT organization GOProud to co-sponsor the annual Washington event. Once again, the self-righteous morality police are doing everything in their power to undermine the Republican Party and shrink the already shrunken tent.

Mark Barna reports in The Gazette that GOProud supports gay rights and marriage, but still considers itself a conservative Republican group because it is for smaller government, lower taxes and strong national defense. Still, this is not enough for anti-gay organizations that demand party purity.

“We’re fully engaged in making our objection known, both to the CPAC committee and to the parent organization, the American Conservative Union,” said Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy for Focus Action, the political arm of Focus on the Family. Minnery did not say if Focus Action would pull out of CPAC if GOProud remained a co-sponsor.

Gary Glenn, president of the faith-based American Family Association of Michigan, said GOProud’ inclusion is a mockery. “It does damage when CPAC gives its seal of approval of a group exploring a hard-left agenda,” Glenn said.

Kevin Roberts is executive director of Catholic Families for America, a CPAC co-sponsor. He told Barna that he will make his displeasure known over the inclusion of the gay-rights group during his CPAC speech. “I will be speaking on traditional values (during my speech),” Roberts said.

I don’t suppose Roberts’ speech will include chastising priests for sexually molesting children and how the Catholic Church covered up such heinous crimes. After the church spent billions of dollars paying off victims, I’m really in no mood to hear some Catholic ideologue lecture me on traditional values. Roberts and others of his ilk have no moral authority to discuss such topics. He can do us all a favor and save his breath.

Formed in April, GOProud has 2,000 members who believe fiscal conservatism can exist alongside gay rights activism. Jimmy LaSalvia formed the Washington. D.C.-based group after learning that 1.3 million gays voted for Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

Whatever one thinks of LGBT Republicans, it is good to see GOProud stand up for itself and demand a place at the Republican table. In doing so, it may just save the party from destroying itself by kowtowing to an intolerant group of narrow-minded zealots. If the GOP were smart, it would embrace diversity and tell the fundamentalists that they are part of a broader coalition and that they do not own the party. Only by widening the circle of supporters (gays, city dwellers, immigrants, African Americans, young people) will the Republican Party remain viable in the future.