News (USA)

LGBT activists: Proposed GOP platform ‘out-of-step’ with mainstream American values

WASHINGTON — Early reports Monday that the Republican National Party platform might contain language that would soften the GOP’s view on LGBT rights were dashed by late afternoon as documents showed that party leadership had asked the virulently anti-gay president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, to assist in drafting language relating to same-sex marriage.

The language, authored by Perkins, directly contradicts assertions made by the Log Cabin Republicans earlier Monday that the GOP Platform would contain an olive branch for LGBT Americans.

In fact, sources indicated that the GOP 2012 platform would not only reject marriage equality, but will push for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and stripping rights from legally married same-sex couples, and call for a vigorous defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Following is an excerpt of the Republican Party’s draft platform language opposing same-sex marriage:

Marriage and the Judiciary

A serious threat to our country’s constitutional order, perhaps even more dangerous that presidential malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which some judges usurp the powers reserved to the other branches of government. A blatant example has been the court-ordered redefinition of marriage in several 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 thousand of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.

Defense of Marriage

That is why congressional Republicans took the lead in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the rights of States and the federal government not to recognize same-sex relationships licensed in other jurisdictions. An activist judiciary usurps the power reserved to other branches of government and endangers the foundation of our country. We oppose the 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.

We commend the United States House of Representatives and those State Attorneys General who have defended these laws when they have been attacked in the courts. We reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We applaud the citizens of the majority of States which have enshrined in their constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns underway in several other states to do so.

“The GOP’s proposed platform is blatantly out-of-step with not only the majority of our nation, but even with the rank and file of the Republican Party itself,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.

“The party is poised to send a devastating message to LGBT youth – that they and the families they aspire to one day build are not worthy of the same protections as everyone else,” said Griffin.

Jerame Davis, Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats, said, “The GOP hasn’t changed a bit. What has changed is the weak-kneed apologists at Log Cabin Republicans who used to have a conscience and who used to stand on principle by calling out the bigots in their Party.”

“The Republican establishment is not mincing words — they wanted everyone to know they’re still the party for homophobes and hate mongers. By allowing Tony Perkins, the leader of a designated anti-gay hate group, to draft this heinous language, the GOP has sent a clear message to gay Republicans that their hope of a pro-equality Republican Party is nothing more than a pipe dream,” said Davis.

In a report by Buzzfeed before noon Monday, Log Cabin Republicans executive director R. Clarke Cooper said that a subcommittee of the platform drafting committee had passed language stating, “We embrace the principle that all Americans have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.”

The move was “still early in process,” Cooper said, adding that although the language did not specifically address sexual orientation or gender identity, inclusion of such language would be a positive nod in the direction of LGBT people and LGBT rights groups.

“The real message to read in this is that the GOP’s cognitive dissonance continues unabated and the apologists at Log Cabin Republicans are still selling snake oil and calling it progress,” said Davis.

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