Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an erstwhile Romney campaign adviser and co-author of Arizona’s so-called “papers please” law, said during a meeting of the Republican Party’s platform committee on Tuesday that LGBT people are not entitled to equal protection under the law because Republicans believe their behavior is harmful, much like polygamy and substance abuse.
The comment was caught on film, and came amid an argument against a proposed amendment that would have enshrined same sex civil unions in the party’s official platform. That amendment was defeated by a voice vote.
“Our government routinely judges sutuatons where you might regard people completely affecting themselves like for exmaple the use of controlled substances, like polygamy that is voluntarily entered in to,” Kobach said. “We condemn those activities even though they are not hurting other people at least directly. So this is worded way to broadly for inclusion in the platform.”
The amendment to the party’s defense of marriage plank, proposed by a Ron Paul supporter from Nevada, called for all American citizens to be treated “equally under the law” provided they’ve not harmed anyone else. An earlier amendment that was also defeated called for religious groups to have the right to define marriage in their own ways, and to let the government grant civil unions.
Jimmy Salvia, an activist with the LGBT Republican group GOProud, told Raw Story on Tuesday that many feel the Republican Party’s platform is little more than a “distraction” that grants “no rights or responsibilities,” only serving to damage the Romney campaign by serving as a lens into views held by Romney’s vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Ryan has faced particular scrutiny for proposing that rape victims be denied the right to an abortion should they become pregnant — a position that was cemented in the party’s platform this week and amplified tremendously by controversial remarks made by Ryan’s colleague Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who told a journalist that women’s bodies can somehow fight off a pregnancy if it was brought about through “legitimate rape.”
Making matters worse for Republicans, Ryan also co-sponsored a bill with Akin that sought to refuse federal assistance to rape victims if they weren’t subjected to what they called “forcible rape,” implying that they believe “rape” itself isn’t forcible enough to begin with. He’s since disavowed that effort. The Romney campaign has similarly backed away from the Republican Party’s platform and Ryan’s own former views, saying that a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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