Categories: Politics

Extremist Proposals Define GOP Platform, Setting Up Convention Showdown With Moderates

[DIGEST: New York Times, Time, Wall Street Journal]

Republicans gathered in Cleveland on Tuesday to draft the party’s principles platform ahead of the Republican National Convention, and the final document is a sign that the party has shifted even further to the right. Much of the language emphasizes the party’s staunchly conservative attitude toward gay rights and its insistence that the Bible and God be present in the classroom while incorporating some of Donald Trump’s most extreme campaign pledges, including the building of a wall along the border with Mexico.

LGBTs Under Attack

The platform’s treatment of LGBTs goes far beyond what the platform stated four years ago. Several new provisions opposing same-sex marriage and endorsing “gay conversion therapy” passed preliminary votes on Monday. Staunch social conservatives repeatedly rejected efforts by more moderate members of the committee to add language condemning or acknowledging anti-gay discrimination, even any that acknowledged the massacre of gay people in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

An initial draft circulated Sunday to committee members reasserts the party’s opposition to same-sex marriage: “Our laws and our government’s regulations should recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman and actively promote married family life as the basis of a stable and prosperous society,” the draft states. “For that reason, as explained elsewhere In this platform, we do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the States.” Moderate members condemned an amendment which argued same-sex marriage “subverts child’s rights to biological parent.”

Rachel Hoff. (Credit:

The more conservative delegates also vetoed an amendment introduced by Washington, D.C. delegate Rachel Hoff, who is the first openly gay member of the committee. Hoff’s amendment implored the GOP to reconsider its language on same-sex marriage to allow for a range of viewpoints, rather than the strong rejection present in the final draft. Hoff fought back tears as she defended the amendment’s inclusion. “All I ask today is that you include me and people like me,” she said. Ultimately, however, the committee defeated the amendment by a 3-1 margin.

Tony Perkins, a socially conservative member of the Family Research Council, proposed an amendment supporting “conversion therapy” for children who identify as LGBT. Perkins’ original draft strongly advocated for the practice and passed

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Alan Jude Ryland @alanjryland

Alan is a writer and editor who lives in New York City. His work has been featured in such publications as Salon, The Advocate, Plus Magazine, George Takei Presents, The Huffington Post, Spoiled NYC, Towleroad, Distractify, Elite Daily, and 2 or 3 Things I Know About Film.