News that conservative columnist Ann Coulter would speak at "HomoCon 2010
," an event organized by the conservative gay group GOProud, prompted conservative outlet WorldNetDaily
to drop her from speaking at one of its upcoming events.
Coulter defended her decision
to accept the invitation, saying,
"They hired me to give a speech, so I'm giving a speech. . . . I speak to a lot of groups and do not endorse them. I speak at Harvard and I certainly don't endorse their views."
But while she may have lost a WND speaking gig over it, most young conservatives I spoke to defended Coulter's decision. "I think it is terrific that Ann Coulter is speaking at HomoCon," RedState's
Erick Erickson told me.
Other conservatives even went so far as to argue that supporting gay rights is inherently
"Conservatism and gay rights are actually natural allies," said S.E. Cupp, conservative columnist and author of "Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity." "Conservatism rightly seeks to keep the government out of our private lives, and when you strip away the politics of pop culture, it's this assertion of privacy and freedom that the gay rights movement is essentially making."
This is how institutions evolve and emerge within a conservative culture," says Jon Henke
, a libertarian-leaning blogger.
"In time, gay people will be married, extending the valuable social institution of marriage to more people. In time, conservatives will argue that the positive impact that marriage has on the gay community is further evidence of the importance of the institution of marriage."
National Review's Dan Foster believes the changing attitudes are largely generational, but added that "a central thread of conservatism, going back to Edmund Burke, is . . . gradualism."
Change has come gradually, and it's worth noting that Coulter's decision to speak at HomoCon is merely the latest example of prominent conservatives (of all ages) lending, at least, tacit support to the cause of gay rights.
Conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist serves on the board of directors
for GOProud, and RightWingNews, the blog site run by conservative blogger John Hawkins, has agreed to co-sponsor HomoCon
Meanwhile, Ted Olson, the lawyer who represented George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore
, the case that resolved the 2000 presidential election,
recently worked to overturn Proposition 8
, which banned same-sex marriages in California.
Fox News host Glenn Beck recently said
he thinks government should stay out of the gay marriage debate.
And The Daily Caller's Tucker Carlson is speaking
at an event hosted by the Log Cabin Republicans.
Note: Despite reaching out to social conservative activists and groups, few were interested in commenting on this story -- a point which is, in itself, telling. Several young conservatives I spoke with also drew a sharp distinction between opposition to gay marriage and being "anti-gay." And many who oppose gay marriage said they would be fine with domestic partnerships or civil unions.