Just weeks after releasing a “turnaround plan” focused on building a more inclusive GOP aimed at attract minority voters, including “welcoming” attitudes on gay rights, members of the Republican National Committee on Friday voted unanimously to reaffirm language in the GOP platform defining marriage “as the union of one man and one woman.”
The resolution also called on the U.S. Supreme Court to “uphold the sanctity of marriage” as it weighs rulings on two landmark cases involving same-sex marriage, and was one of a slate of of resolutions adopted unanimously and without discussion at the RNC’s spring meeting in Los Angeles this week.
The resolution was proposed by Dave Agema, an RNC committeeman from Michigan who recently posted an article on his Facebook page that refers to gays and lesbians as “filthy.”
The adopted resolution states, in part:
WHEREAS, the institution of marriage is the solid foundation upon which our society is built and in which children thrive; it is based in the conjugal relationship that only a man and a woman can form; […]
WHEREAS, no Act of human government can change the reality that marriage is a natural and most desirable union; especially when procreation is a goal; […] therefore be it
RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee affirms its support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America; and be it further
RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee implores the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the sanctity of marriage in its rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The move signals a divide in the GOP, where establishment and moderate Republicans generally advocate for the party to be more inclusive, while many conservatives and tea partyers insist the party adhere closely to its ideological principles at any cost.
Last month, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus released a report he commissioned from a panel of national GOP strategists about how the party can rebound and attract more younger and minority voters.
The 100-page report, entitled the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” was quickly labeled an autopsy of the 2012 elections by political pundits inside the Beltway, and noted that the GOP’s uncompromising stance on key issues of concern to gay and lesbian voters had alienated the youth vote and young adults, causing the party to lose critical races.
Some Republicans at the meeting complained that report seemed to advocate a shift in position on immigration, gay marriage and other issues by proposing, for example, greater outreach to gay voters.
Earlier in the week, 11 influential social conservative groups aired their grievances in a letter addressed to Priebus, and timed to coincide with the start of the RNC’s meeting.
The coalition, led by Tony Perkins, president of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, told donors not to give national Republican leaders “a dime of your hard-earned money” until the party clarified its positions on social issues.
The 168-member RNC subsequently voted in favor of reaffirming its platform plank opposing gay marriage, in hopes of assuaging those concerns.