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.
- Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy. [The HRC has a post up about why this is beyond Congress. You can read it here.]
- 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.