The Republican National Committee (RNC) has decided to re-use the party’s anti-LGBTQ political platform from 2016 because the coronavirus epidemic prevents the RNC from assembling the thousands of national delegates required to draft a new one.
As such, the Republican platform will continue to oppose same-sex marriage and the expansion of civil rights for sexual orientation and gender identity while supporting President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban, conversion therapy and businesses discriminating against same-sex couples.
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Gays and lesbians have had the right to marry for five years. An overwhelming majority of Americans support LGBTQ rights.
The current platform also contains criticisms of the “current administration” and “the president” that once referred to then-President Barack Obama but now seemingly refer to Trump.
The decision to simply re-use the 2016 platform has reportedly upset Republicans like White House Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning, Jared Kushner, who sought to simplify the platform and remove its support for conversion therapy in order to attract younger, socially progressive voters.
Tony Perkins — president of the anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council who was elected to the GOP platform committee in 2016 and bragged about writing most of the 2016 platform — reached out to the Trump administration to inquire about updating the platform. Perkins, like other conservatives, may have reached out in hopes of strengthening platform positions that help Trump’s declining favor among Christians.
A June 11, 2020 poll by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows that between March and the end of May, Trump’s favorability among white evangelicals fell 15 points to 62 percent; his favorability among white Catholics fell by 27 percentage points.
Christian conservatives may continue rallying behind Trump no matter the platform because of his ardent support of so-called religious freedoms and banning abortion as well as his policies against immigrant asylum seekers. Other party leaders believe voters don’t really care what the national platform says at all.
But Democrats are surely ready to use the GOP’s own stale platform against them as they characterize the GOP as out of touch with the social changes that have broken out across the country over the last four years.