An intense argument over whether a gay conservative group should co-sponsor the conservative movement’s biggest gathering of the year has led some supporters to back out of the event in February.

This year’s Conservative Political Action Confrence, which is set to begin February 10 in Washington, is expected to draw Republican aspirants like Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich, as well as thousands of activists.

But some conservative pillars, including church-based groups like the Family Research Council, are refusing to participate. They are angry that a seat at the planning table was givento the gay organization, GOProud.

At least one reputed presidential hopeful, Senator Jim DeMint has declined to attend.

But even though there are some who are not willing to attend, planners are still expecting some 10,000 people.

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