Donald Trump is hands off as GOP debates LGBTQ platform issues

The Republican Party is preparing to approve a new party platform, as they do every four years, and tensions are high around proposed language regarding LGBTQ issues including marriage and access to public accommodations.

The New York Times reports that despite an increasing number of platform committee members advocating for more moderate positions, many of the current cultural wedge issues seem likely to remain:

The draft has not been publicly released, but committee members said in interviews that they expected to see language condemning the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, embracing the contested “religious liberty” laws that allow people to deny services to gay and lesbian couples, and supporting state efforts to stop transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice.

One approach has been to shift to more neutral language that sounds more inclusive without calling attention to specific hot-button issues. A major proponent of this tactic is Paul E. Singer, the billionaire Republican who founded the American Unity Fund. The group aims to add statements about “respect for all families,” but even that vague language is being met with opposition.

“We’ve got to make room for people with diverse views on civil marriage,” AUF Senior Advier Tyler Deaton told The New York Times. “This platform doesn’t even make room for people who support civil unions or domestic partnerships or people who support basic legal equality.”

Meanwhile, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee Donal Trump has largely avoided getting involved in debates over the party’s positions. But his words and actions show him bouncing between siding with anti-LGBTQ conservative Christians and showing support for LGBTQ people — spending time with Focus on the Family and taking calls from Caitlyn Jenner.

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