CPAC Honors Openly Gay Scott Presler with 2021 Ronald Reagan Award

Michael W. Chapman | March 2, 2021 | 12:00pm EST
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The openly gay Scott Presler, who spoke at CPAC and received the Ronald Reagan Award. (Screenshot, CPAC)
Scott Presler, who spoke at CPAC and received the Ronald Reagan Award. (Screenshot, CPAC)

(CNS News) -- The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which describes itself as "the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world," honored the openly gay Scott Presler with its Ronald Reagan Award on Saturday, Feb. 27, in Orlando, Fla. 

The Ronald Reagan Award was established to honor the often unnamed or overlooked conservative activists who work in the political trenches day after day to advance conservative ideas, policies, and candidates. 

Scott Presler was given the award by CPAC because of his extensive work in organizing and helping to clean up parts of inner cities riddled with trash and abandoned property. Presler also engaged in political speeches and get-out-the-vote efforts -- on the streets and online -- to help re-elect Donald Trump in 2020.

In the 2016 campaign, Presler was an organizer employed by the Republican Party of Virginia. He used the hashtag #gaysfortrump in his political work. 


Upon receiving the Ronald Reagan Award from ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp and ACU Board Member Charlie Gerow, Presler told the CPAC crowd, "This is the coolest, gosh darn moment of my life. I want to thank you. You have changed my world, and don't even know it. And my two most ardent supporters, my mom and dad are here with us tonight."

“To our young viewers, who are watching this conference," said Presler, "follow your dreams and live a life of passion, where you are determined to succeed. And, who knows, one day you may be that dog walker on the stage at CPAC.”

After graduating from George Mason University with a degree in criminal justice, Presler had difficulty finding a job and walked dogs for some time to earn money. `Presler reportedly came out as a gay man after the June 2016 mass shooting in the LGBT nightclub Pulse, in Orlando. 

American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp.  (ACU)
American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp. (ACU)

Although CPAC is the "conservative" action conference, it does not hesitate to recognize and promote homosexuality. In addition to honoring Scott Presler, CPAC, as it has done for many years, permitted the Log Cabin Republicans to exhibit their materials at the conference. 

The Log Cabin group is comprised of LGBT Republicans who want to "build a stronger, more inclusive Republican Party," states its website.  "LGBT Republicans and straight allies have chosen to transform the GOP from the inside, working to overcome the forces of exclusion and intolerance."

(Screenshot, Log Cabin Republicans)
(Screenshot, Log Cabin Republicans)

The group supported Donald Trump for president in 2020. 

Although the issue did not get a lot of press during President Trump's term in office, it is no secret that he is a strong supporter of the LGBT community and made efforts to hire and promote homosexuals in the federal government. 

For instance, President Trump named Richard Grenell as ambassador to Germany. Grenell, who is gay, lives with his long-time partner Matt Lashey.  Trump later promoted Grenell to acting director of the Office of National Intelligence. Grenell also served as Trump's senior adviser on LGBTQ outreach, an initiative in 2020 called Trump Pride.

On Twitter, Grenell praised Trump as "the most pro-gay president in American history."

Trump supports same-sex marriage. As president, he pushed a policy to help end the criminalization of homosexuality worldwide. He also made it possible for uninsured gays to get a pre-HIV medicine for free. 

In addition, Trump nominated lesbian Mary Rowland to the federal bench in Illinois; she was confirmed by the Senate. Trump judicial nominee Patrick Bumatay, who is gay, was confirmed by the Senate.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
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