Having first brought controversy to the Conservative Political Action Conference, the gay conservative group GOProud has tried to smooth things over by falling back on two things gay groups of all sorts are known for: connections to celebrities and the ability to throw one hell of a party.
"You're probably familiar with some of the controversy and we really wanted to bring value to CPAC and to make this CPAC the best CPAC ever," said Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud. Instead of just being known as a cause of conflict, the group wanted its presence to add something everyone at the conference could agree was a good thing.
So they reached out to Donald Trump with an invitation to speak at the conference -- an invitation the New York real estate magnate and television personality accepted Wednesday.
"As soon as people heard he was coming, that became the buzz," LaSalvia said, "and that was great."
"He's certainly a powerful voice on economic issues and his voice should be heard here," he added. "It's exciting."
Trump is reportedly considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
Also exciting to many attendees was the prospect of Thursday night's GOProud party at 18th Street Lounge with Big Government publisher Andrew Breitbart, featuring '90s alt rock performer Sophie B. Hawkins. More than 500 guests are expected at the event, according to organizers.
Breitbart, a Los Angeles conservative, reached out to GOProud about throwing the party for them as a way of welcoming gays and lesbians to the conservative conference.
"This party will highlight the story the main stream media has missed in the weeks leading up to CPAC, namely that the vast majority of the conservative movement is united and welcomes GOProud and any other conservative into the fold," said Breitbart, who also recently joined GOProud's Advisory Council, annoucing the event in early February.
Other co-sponsors include Paul E. Singer, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Poker Players Alliance, the Institute for Liberty, and Bank of Kev Productions.