The RNC platform: homophobia is alive and well
I have a copy of the entire Republican platform (PDF), adopted on the first day of the convention. There is a ton of predictable wingnuttery to thumb through, so feel free to download, find an area of interest and comment away.
On the LGBT front, it has a preamble that includes this heartfelt statement on commitment to country and individual freedom:
We offer it to our fellow Americans in the assurance that our Republican ideals are those that unify our country: Courage in the face of foreign foes. An optimistic patriotism, driven by a passion for freedom. Devotion to the inherent dignity and rights of every person. Faith in the virtues of self-reliance, civic commitment, and concern for one another. Distrust of government’s interference in people’s lives.
The dignity and rights of every person, however, doesn’t extend to those of us who are LGBT. From the section (p 51) on “Ensuring Equal Treatment for All”:
Individual rights – and the responsibilities that go with them – are the foundation of a free society. From the time of Lincoln, equality of individuals has been a cornerstone of the Republican Party. Our commitment to equal opportunity extends from landmark school-choice legislation for the students of Washington D.C. to historic appointments at the highest levels of government. We consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin to be immoral, and we will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes. We ask all to join us in rejecting the forces of hatred and bigotry and in denouncing all who practice or promote racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, or religious Individual rights – and the responsibilities that go with them – are the foundation of a free society. From the time of Lincoln, equality of individuals has been a cornerstone of the Republican Party.
My Log Cabin friends, you aren’t included there. The Republican Party believes it is moral and just to discriminate against LGBTs.
While that reality sinks in, let’s look at the platform’s 2008 position on the military.
The all-volunteer force has been a success. We oppose reinstituting the draft, whether directly or through compulsory national service. We support the advancement of women in the military and their exemption from ground combat units. Military priorities and mission must determine personnel policies. Esprit and cohesion are necessary for military effectiveness and success on the battlefield. To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America’s Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.
Compare that to the 2008 Democratic Platform:
We support the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the implementation of policies to allow qualified men and women to serve openly regardless of sexual orientation.
How about marriage? Take a look at GOP hate in 2008 below the fold. Here you go, no evolution, inclusion, or fairness toward same-sex unions that I can see, just more bigotry:
Preserving Traditional Marriage
Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.
Republicans recognize the importance of having in the home a father and a mother who are married. The two-parent family still provides the best environment of stability, discipline, responsibility, and character. Children in homes without fathers are more likely to commit a crime, drop out of school, become violent, become teen parents, use illegal drugs, become mired in poverty, or have emotional or behavioral problems. We support the courageous efforts of single-parent families to provide a stable home for their children. Children are our nation’s most precious resource. We also salute and support the efforts of foster and adoptive families.
Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress. A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex “marriages” licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter. We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California. We also encourage states to review their marriage and divorce laws in order to strengthen marriage.
As the family is our basic unit of society, we oppose initiatives to erode parental rights.
So wait — if the people decide either through their elected representatives in their legislatures OR at the ballot box — say if California, Arizona and Florida turn away amendments — where does that leave the GOP? Oh that’s right, the people would then be homosexualists and thus the need for a federal amendment because some of “the people” can’t be trusted from the Republican POV. They simply can’t have it both ways.
While we don’t receive any nod to marriage equality in the Democratic platform, there is a clear statement that this is a right within reach — our families are recognized:
A More Perfect Union
We believe in the essential American ideal that we are not constrained by the circumstances of birth but can make of our lives what we will. Unfortunately, for too many, that ideal is not a reality. We have more work to do. Democrats will fight to end discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and disability in every corner of our country, because that’s the America we believe in.
We all have to do our part to lift up this country, and that means changing hearts and changing minds, and making sure that every American is treated equally under the law. We will restore professionalism over partisanship at the Department of Justice, and staff the civil rights division with civil rights lawyers, not ideologues.
…We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.
Meanwhile, the discriminating Boy Scouts, and adoption agencies that do not allow same-sex couples to provide a home to an unwanted child are backed up by the GOP in its platform (p. 54):
We support the First Amendment right of freedom of association of the Boy Scouts of America and other service organizations whose values are under assault, and we call upon the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reverse its policy of blacklisting religious groups which decline to arrange adoptions by same-sex couples
Throughout the Republican platform are statements such as “everyone’s civil rights must be safeguarded,” but it is made clear that 1) LGBTs either have no rights or 2) they aren’t “people” — it’s hard to tell, given the level of well-thought-out vitriol in this platform.
The platform committee members, if you’re curious about who put their stamp on it:
Republican National Committee Chairman
Robert M. “Mike” Duncan
Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Senator Richard Burr (my other useless senator here in NC)
Economy Subcommittee: Expanding Opportunity to Promote Prosperity
Chairman Haley Barbour
Co-Chairman Santa Mendoza
Co-Chairman Anthony Sutton
National Security Subcommittee: Defending the Nation, Securing the Peace
Chairman Heather Wilson
Co-Chairman L. Scott Lingamfelter
Co-Chairman Joe Nuñez
Government Reform Subcommittee: Reforming Government to Serve the People
Chairman Mark Burkhalter
Co-Chairman Priscilla Rakestraw
Energy Subcommittee: Guaranteeing Energy Independence and a Cleaner Environment
Chairman Ann McLaughlin Korologos
Co-Chairman Trey Grayson
Crime & American Values Subcommittee: Protecting Our Families, Preserving Our Values
Chairman Jane Orie
Co-Chairman Mike Fair
Health & Education Subcommittee: Advancing a Healthier and More Competitive America.
Chairman Mary Mertz
Co-Chairman Steve King
Honorary Vice Chairmen