Oregon GOP Cuts Anti-Gay Language From Party Platform


In an effort to appear more centrist the Oregon Republican Party has voted to cut from its party platform any overtly anti-gay language.

The move came last weekend during a party convention in Bend, with around 230 Republican delegates attending to hammer out the 2012 party platform. There, a slim majority decided to remove wording that essentially condemned same-sex unions and disparaged same-sex couples’ child rearing abilities.

From Oregon Live:

“We want the public to take another look at the Republican Party and our policies,” said Greg Leo, spokesman for the state party. “It’s fair to say we’re more centrist.”


But the language change didn’t come easy. In fact, it was almost defeated, said Xander Almeida, who was among those who pushed to remove a section of the platform seen as denigrating lifestyles and rights of gays and lesbians.

Almeida said his motion to remove the language was first shot down 2-1 by a caucus of members focusing on the “family” section of the platform. He thought his effort was over until he talked to party Chairman Allen Alley, who told him the proposal should go to a full floor vote.

“That’s where things really kind of got heated,” Almeida said. After a contentious debate, the amendment passed with a bare majority of the 230 delegates who attended.

The Log Cabin Republicans, the gay tail of the Republican party, are extremely encouraged by this and are saying it is representative of a broader shift in the conservative movement that will hopefully spur on the GOP as a whole to adopt a more gay-friendly outlook.

But, is this really a change? Well, yes and no. According to those attending, there’s still plenty “pro-traditional family” language in the party platform:

Ken Taylor was at the convention, as the Chair of the Crook County Republican Party: “The platform still is actually very pro-traditional family. We removed some wording that some felt was offensive.  But we are still the party of traditional family values.”

Indeed, the platform still states:

The Oregon Republican Party believes that the traditional family is ordained by God our Creator and is the foundation of our society. A traditional family is formed through the marriage of one man and one woman. This is environment is the optimum for raising children into responsible, self-sufficient, productive citizens. (Page 4; Oregon Republican Party Platform.)

To my mind this amounts to “we won’t call gays names because that’s not popular with the voters” but they still won’t back marriage equality, probably won’t vote in favor of giving same-sex couples the full range of rights to support child rearing, or even admit that it doesn’t matter what gender a kid’s parents are so long as those parents create a loving, stable environment.

So is this a positive step or is it really just a marketing tactic? I actually think both because at the very least this is a concession that younger voters do not want to see anti-gay rhetoric. That might constitute a (shaky) first step toward something more substantial, especially given that Millennial Republicans are, by a strong margin, polling in favor of equal rights.

The real test will be how the GOP reacts if equality groups, who have been testing the waters about overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, decide to go ahead and put a question to legalize same-sex marriage on next years ballot, and whether or not the state’s Republicans will be able to avoid using the smears and anti-gay tactics that we’ve seen recently from the GOP in North Carolina.

Related Reading:

NC Anti-Gay Amendment Heads to the Ballot

Trust Aims to Fight Homophobia in the Commonwealth

Candidate’s Partner May Be Deported Due to DOMA (VIDEO)


Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson6 years ago

Maybe they can pull the rest of the Republicans back from the far out, crazy brink!

Xander A.
Xander A.6 years ago

I understand the skepticism. But this is Oregon. And we won a majority in this vote. With the entire Oregon Republican Leadership voting in unison to take this language out.

The social conservatives certainly have their beliefs, but obviously the majority do not feel as such. The youth movement, especially, within the party was stumping for this. That ought to be encouraging.

My personal belief is that marriage shouldn't be a function of government. Because if it wasn't we wouldn't even be having this argument right now. And the majority of Oregonians do agree with the statement that traditional marriage ought to be preserved. So essentially all the platform says now is that we agree with the state's constitution.

I also looked at the Oregon Democrat Platform. They voice no support for civil unions, domestic partnerships or gay marriage itself, which I thought was interesting.

Lilithe Magdalene

@Emanuel - you live in New Zealand - this is Oregon. And your post I am guessing is in jest.

I do hope this is truly a step in the right direction and not just a marketing scheme, although I was surprised to hear this in Oregon. It's pretty conservative there.

@Xander - glad you came to comment! I am glad to hear there is real positive change in the Republican Party in OR. Keep up the good work!

kenny s.
Kenny Stidham6 years ago

@ Emanual V....Are you f***ing kidding me? You are one sick twisted S.O.B. . Your mother should have used birth control when she had sex and conceived you.

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago

It's a step in the correct direction to take out this awful language but they still remain in the Republican party so I don't trust them for a minute.

Fred Krohn
Fred Krohn6 years ago

'Sorry', homophobia is an obsolete attitude and should be expunged from our nation. Consenting adult partners who shut the door and pull the blinds aren't damaging anyone or anything. They aren't promoting other people happy in their existing hetero or otherwise relationships to change, nor are they forcing anyone else to participate in their activities. The homophobes can get the h!!! out of the USA, and take their sicko puritan pervert attitudes with them along with DOMA and trashy 'marriage actrs and amendments' they've damages state and Federal constitutions with.

Emanuel v.
Emanuel v.6 years ago

Sorry, marriage for gays must be out,.if you want to protect your life. No equivalents, It is a ploy to destoy the family and hetero commitment. They are trying to make every one the same ,so we are easier to control.One rule for all. Mark my words, if you support gay marriage you are signing your own death warrant, because it is all part of the covert depopulation agenda of the WHO ( World Homocide Organisation)we are all walking into a trap hardly anyone has noticed. How cleaver is that ?

Janice Redinger
Janice Redinger6 years ago

Wayne, DO NOT TRUST THE REPUBLICANS!!!! That's the bottom line. They may be back peddling their language, but the belief system remains the same.

Amber T.
Amber T6 years ago

"The Oregon Republican Party believes that the traditional family is ordained by God our Creator and is the foundation of our society"

Inmmy opinion, this is a gross violation, of the 1st Amendments, Freedom of Religion phrase.

Pamela B.
Pamela B.6 years ago

Another ploy to get more votes. Just like here in Michigan, this awful "Governor" Rick Snyder and his Republican cronies plan to get rid of the requirement for motorcyclists to wear helmets although Republicans have been told by many doctors that this will cause deaths. Another ploy to get votes from motorcyclists. I worked in a hospital ER and before the helmet law came in I saw many wasted lives in the ER because no one wore helmets. Don't bother to tell me about government regulation because I and everyone else would be paying for these peoples care.