The Las Vegas Review-Journalreports that the Nevada Republican Party stripped language condemning same-sex marriage and abortion from its platform over the cries of its most conservative members.
The Nevada GOP also voted to endorse current Gov. Brian Sandoval in the June 10, 2014 primaries, despite the fact that he declined the invitation to attend the state party.
The platform had defined marriage as being “between a man and a woman,” and had described the party and its members as “pro-life,” but the platform committee determined that it would be better not to have the party take a stand on social issues this election cycle.
“The issue was how can we back out of people’s personal lives,” Dave Hockaday said to the Review-Journal. “We need to focus on issues where we can have an impact.”
Other members of the committee noted that many of these social issues were due to be adjudicated by the Supreme Court, and that it didn’t make sense for “the party of personal freedom” to involve itself in these matters.
“I believe it is divisive to the party,” said Roger Stockton. “I believe it alienates people who are within the party. We have to be the big umbrella.”
The decision to exclude social issues from the party platform represents a potential sea change in relations between Nevada Republicans, which have been strained since the rise of the Tea Party. In the last Presidential election, for example, the Tea Party sought to have the Nevada GOP endorse former Texas Representative Ron Paul, only to be shouted down by establishment GOP operatives who saw Mitt Romney as a more viable national candidate.
State party Chairman Michael McDonald said that he considered the convention “a success,” because it “was about inclusion, not exclusion.” He then added, “this is where the party is headed.”
[Image of Brian Sandoval via official Facebook page]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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