Social and economic conservatives have worked together under the mantle of the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan made them the core of his 1980 coalition, but the alliance may now be fraying.
Some of the nation’s most prominent social conservatives are sending a message to their economic brethren by dropping out of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in response to the decision to include GOProud, a gay conservative group, as a participating organization.
“The base-line reason is that homosexuality is not a conservative value,” said Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association’s director of issue analysis. “It’s the conservative PAC, not the libertarian PAC.”
Sponsored by the American Conservative Union (ACU), the CPAC gathering traditionally has been a marquee event on the conservative political calendar. This year’s conference is scheduled to run Feb. 10 to 12 in Washington and will feature leading Republican presidential contenders Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and John Thune.