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Politics

ACU, GOProud Have Uncomfortable Meeting

August 4, 2011

The timing couldn't have been worse for Wednesday's meeting between American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas and a gay Republican group.

Cardenas said the purpose of the meeting was to have a "constructive conversation" after ACU decided to ban the group, GOProud, from hosting a booth at CPAC, the annual gathering of conservative activists in 2012.

But the day before the meeting with GOProud in Washington, an anti-gay tirade by Cardenas's wife on Facebook was publicized on a Miami Herald blog. Her comments were in response to a posting about the recent comments from Texas Gov. Rick Perry about marriage between same-sex couples.

"Well, there is no reason not to like them or love them, the same way you would love one who has a disability, or an illness, etc.," Diana Cardenas wrote. She added: "You know I always wondered why homosexuals are referred to as 'gay', kind of an oxymoron? Nothing really 'gay' about them or their movement."

Cardenas said of the previously scheduled meeting with GOProud: "It was not easy." He added: "I love my wife more than life and I think we agree on the issue of traditional marriage, but I disagree with some of the things that she said."

Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud's executive director, said he made it clear in the meeting with Cardenas that he had read what his wife wrote. Most of the discussion, he said, concerned the ACU's decision to exclude GOProud from the 2012 conference. The group's attendance at CPAC earlier this year triggered boycotts by a handful of other participants.

"I expressed my disappointment," he said. "Our work to defeat Barack Obama won't be happening at CPAC, but it will be happening."

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