Republican State Platform Contains Antigay Bias

Republican State Platform
Contains Antigay Bias

By Shaun Knittel
Contributing Writer

The Republican Party will continue to endorse the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
and a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. No surprises there. Most LGBT
Americans are very well aware of the fact that GOP candidates campaign with the view that traditional
marriage is between one man and one woman.

On August 28, the Republican Party released its state platforms and its planks haven’t been well- received by LGBT Americans because it contains antigay bias and going so far as to say the advancement of LGBT rights “is an assault on the foundations of our society.”

The plank on social issues (Tony Perkins of the anti-gay Family Research Council claims to have written the planks) targets the Obama administration for supporting LGBT rights in a number or arenas. “The current Administration’s open defiance of this constitutional principle— in its handling of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits, in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base, and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts — makes a mockery of the President’s inaugural oath,” it states.

Directly addressing courtroom fights over the constitutionality of marriage equality the plank
states, “This is more than a matter of warring legal concepts and ideals. It is an assault on the
foundations of our society, challenging the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.”

According to the Advocate, “Nearly half of the 2012 Republican state platforms are now available online, offering the public cross-country access to the party’s political stances and their corresponding rationale. Apart from Washington, D.C., which has amended its platform to call for equal rights regardless of sexual orientation, nearly every state platform rigidly defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Other exceptions include the platforms of Indiana and Wisconsin, which refrain from addressing the issue of marriage altogether.”

Many platforms offer rationales for their opposition to same-sex marriage.

The California platform, for example, adopts the “history and tradition” argument, asserting, “The family is a foundation upon which American society has grown and prospered for over 200 years. We support the two-parent family as the best environment for raising children, and therefore believe it is important to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.”

Other state platforms adopt a religious defense.

The Advocate reports Arkansas, Oregon, and Texas specifically mention God or “divine” ordinance as a reason to oppose same-sex unions. Whereas most states file their beliefs under a “Family” or “Marriage” heading, Texas devotes an entire section to the subject of “Homosexuality” that expands its justifications to include majority rule:

“We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle, in public policy, nor should ‘family’ be redefined to include homosexual ‘couples.’”

Other topics of GOP planks that generally annoyed Americans were rape, abortion, call for an audit of the Federal Reserve, add a constitutional amendment requiring the vote of a supermajority of Congress to raise taxes (except in times of war or national emergency), and turning Medicaid into a block grant to the states shifting Medicare to premium-support model, in which seniors in the future are given a subsidy with which to purchase a private health insurance plan.