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Texas GOP: Recriminalize Sodomy and Make it a Felony to Marry Gay Couples

Texas GOP: Recriminalize Sodomy and Make it a Felony to Marry Gay Couples

Last week the Republican Party of Texas released its official political platform, a startling document that reads like an ode to ultra-conservatism.

While touching on a variety of subjects, the platform especially targets LGBT rights, seeking to reinstate anti-sodomy laws and make it a felony to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

A few snippets from the document:

  • We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. 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 our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.
  • We also believe that no homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child.
  • Marriage Licenses – We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.
  • Family Values – We affirm that this section is a response to the attacks on traditional family values. These include well- funded, vigorous political and judicial attempts by powerful organizations and branches of the government to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior upon school children, parents, educational institutions, businesses, employees, government bodies and religious institutions and charities. These aggressive, intolerant efforts marginalize as bigots anyone who dissents.

The issue of homosexuality aside, the document also notes that the party wishes to reinstate corporal punishment in public schools, raise the age of consent to 18 and ban all forms of pornography. The policy statement also highlights an initiative to have Congress withdraw the U.S. from the United Nations and notes a desire to enact new regulations meaning that children must be taught evolution and global warming as “challengeable scientific theory” (saying it is discriminatory to do anything less). They indicate that they want to overturn Roe v. Wade, to “repeal and reject the national healthcare takeover, also known as ‘ObamaCare’ ”, enact legislation that requires a sonogram for pregnant women seeking an abortion, and demand that the Legislature “provide Texans opportunity to purchase “Choose Life” license plates”.

The above is just a selection of the Texas GOP’s policy statements. Read the full Texas Republican Platform here. While there are some reasonable talking points in there, for instance their demand to get rid of the state lottery, any credible position is marred by what is a direct assault on LGBT rights and anything that doesn’t comport to the Texas GOP’s very narrow sensibilities.

It interests me that those who so frequently opine on the evils of “big government” and “activist judges” would seek so aggressively to impose their own personal beliefs in this way and not feel even a twinge of hypocrisy.  But to avoid increasing the inflated or inflammatory rhetoric in this circumstance, it is important to distinguish that this is just the Texas Republican’s platform alone and is not necessarily indicative of the goals or ideology of the wider Republican Party. At the same time, it is imperative that the Republican National Committee explicitly states that it does not support this platform and is seen therein to rescue its party from a growing body of extremism.

As such, the Human Rights Campaign has released a call to action pleading that, no matter your political affiliation, you call on the Republican National Committee to officially denounce the Texas Republican Platform. In an email alert, HRC President Joe Solmonese writes:

I want to be clear: HRC is a bipartisan organization. We’ve endorsed Republican candidates for election. So this isn’t about party politics – it’s about deep intolerance that deserves to be rejected.

Sign our petition to RNC Chairman Michael Steele – tell him to repudiate this outrageous platform.

After you’ve signed, please spread the word to your friends – LGBT and straight, Republican and Democrat – and help us get the word out.

Let’s not allow the national Republican Party to hem and haw their way out of this one.

Click here to sign the HRC petition today and help combat anti-gay extremism.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Krystian O.

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366 comments

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5:50AM PDT on Apr 27, 2011

I'm a native Texan, spent ,most of my 69 years here. I am ashamed of our governor, our Texas Lege (Molly Ivins called 'em that!), and the idiots that are trying to take us back to the 19th or even the 20th century! I hope such pandering bring out the best in Texans and we can dump the whole lot of them!! Heaven forbid that they give real life much credit...they must live in some parallel universe!

11:24AM PDT on Sep 12, 2010

Oh Texas, what the hell is wrong with you!

8:24AM PDT on Aug 20, 2010

Amber, Agreed!

7:48PM PDT on Aug 19, 2010

Megan, I am from and currently live in Texas and do not AT ALL agree with the "sterotyping" attitudes and definitely to not agree with a majority of Rick Perry's decisions either. Your statement is suggesting that ALL Texans believe in this which is compltely inaccurate.

3:17AM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

Megan I: I do not 'pardon' you but only in the most polite way will point out that if you go around labeling everyone from a State, ethnic group, gender, color, height or whatever with a predetermined set of criteria, you are not only going to misread many people but you will stay annoyed and frustrate those that you try to communicate with.
This attempt is by the GOP. Nothing more. It is being met with resistance and recrimination by the majority of the people here who are nice, friendly, diverse and very progressive in our thinking.
It is you who needs to stop the stereo-typing. I resent deeply that you think I and others of my cadre need to look in the mirror. Perhaps I might politely suggest that you let go of your unfounded prejudices and find your own mirror.
No anger meant here but I will stand up for those that I know who are the solution, not the problem.
Again, this is only the fringe of the GOP, not the rest of us.

7:02AM PDT on Jul 18, 2010

Pardon my saying to any Texans out there, but it's this kind of thing that annoys me. If you want to stop stereotyping, stop reinforcing it! Don't get all mad next time you see a characterised version of some high up, bible thumpin' Texan wife beater until you look at yourself to make sure you aren't looking in a mirror!

And as for the communicable diseases, maybe if people were more open about sexual relationships, that guy gay wouldn't be afraid to go in and buy some condoms, risking getting caught with his partner.

3:38PM PDT on Jul 16, 2010

Hey Barbara, Texas needs you. Fight the good fight.

For all the confused people:
A FEDERAL judge in Massachusetts, ruling in two related cases, declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional on July 8, a victory for supporters of gay marriage equality.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay. Proud to be a Bostonian.

1:15PM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

God did make animals attracted to the same sex. This is nature, comes from nature, and if you want... then, it comes from God. Since all animals have some homosexual tendencies, why does man believe there are no homosexual tendencies in themselves.
Unfortunately, and this is very unfortunate, the School Board has been filled with fundamentalist christians, who are able to tell the publishers of history books there, a re writing of history books. These history books will have a large teaching of christ,, and against the fact of teaching of Darwins Theory of Evolution. they will be including, in their books, the Creation stoy. and the fact (as christians see it) the world is six thousand years old. And obviously there be no such thing as homo sexual, or lesbian beings in this world.
It is a christianization of the world through history, and an obliteration of religion and staate..... This also means the dinosaurs and man lived at the same time. This rewriting of history is a dangerous start to .... well, i think we know what
These ne'er do well history books will also be sent to california.
Jesus christ is some one who hasnt the right to push into the united states of tolerant ideas..... there are so many others to be tolerated... jews, muslim, hindu,, christian, wiccan, buddhist and all of the different sects of catholisim.

8:44PM PDT on Jul 11, 2010

No worries Sue, No offense taken anyway. Just wanted everyone to know that we have a great movement here in Tex-ass to rid ourselves of the extra S. That would be firstly, Governor Perry.
Mostly, I have the same opinons as you do about the 'other' camp.

2:25AM PDT on Jul 11, 2010

Barbara Kuyper-cross-
Obviously, I was not speaking of YOU! If you would please read the post again, I said 'some' and 'those who believe it.' In NO WAY was I referring to anyone specific except those who have that view. As the article shows, there ARE some very bizarre ideas and proposals in the Texas GOP, and that is what my comment refers to.

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