For Immediate Release
View Online: http://lgbtde.ms/SJrXpk
August 20, 2012
Contact: Jerame Davis
Gay Republicans Mislead LGBT Americans on GOP Platform
Gay Republicans are touting new language in the GOP platform as being a step forward for LGBT equality and as evidence the Republican Party is moderating on LGBT issues. The specific text reads, "We embrace the principle that all Americans have the right to be treated with dignity and respect." National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director, Jerame Davis, responds:
"The idea that this generic bit of meaningless rhetoric is movement by the GOP toward a more inclusive and pro-equality footing is preposterous. For decades, the Republican platform has included anti-LGBT language that, at various times, has opposed adoption rights, marriage equality, and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
"What's even more ridiculous is the idea that this language is something new. The Republican Party platform has included similar language since at least 1996. This is just a rewording of a generic principle that few Republicans would construe to include LGBT equality. While the GOP gives lip service to the principle of dignity and respect for all, the reality of that ideal clearly escapes them.
"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."
Below are examples of similar passages from past GOP platforms, by year, and the anti-LGBT language contained in those same documents:
"Because we are all one America, we oppose discrimination. We believe in the equality of all people before the law and that individuals should be judged by their ability rather than their race, creed, or disability."
"We oppose Bill Clinton's assault on the culture and traditions of the Armed Forces, especially his attempt to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military. We affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service."
"We reject the distortion of those laws to cover sexual preference, and we endorse the Defense of Marriage Act to prevent states from being forced to recognize same-sex unions."
"They passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines 'marriage' for purposes of federal law as the legal union of one man and one woman and prevents federal judges and bureaucrats from forcing states to recognize other living arrangements as "marriages.""
"Since the election of 1860, the Republican Party has had a special calling — to advance the founding principles of freedom and limited government and the dignity and worth of every individual."
"We affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service."
"We support the traditional definition of 'marriage' as the legal union of one man and one woman, and we believe that federal judges and bureaucrats should not force states to recognize other living arrangements as marriages. We rely on the home, as did the founders of the American Republic, to instill the virtues that sustain democracy itself. That belief led Congress to enact the Defense of Marriage Act, which a Republican Department of Justice will energetically defend in the courts. For the same reason, we do not believe sexual preference should be given special legal protection or standing in law."
"Every day, we strive to fulfill Lincoln's vision: a country united and free, in which all people are guaranteed equal rights and the opportunity to pursue their dreams."
"We affirm traditional military culture, and we affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service."
"We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life."
"The sound principle of judicial review has turned into an intolerable presumption of judicial supremacy. A Republican Congress, working with a Republican president, will restore the separation of powers and re-establish a government of law. There are different ways to achieve that goal, such as using Article III of the Constitution to limit federal court jurisdiction; for example, in instances where judges are abusing their power by banning the use of 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance or prohibiting depictions of the Ten Commandments, and potential actions invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)."
"Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country, and anything less than a Constitutional amendment, passed by the Congress and ratified by the states, is vulnerable to being overturned by activist judges. On a matter of such importance, the voice of the people must be heard. The Constitutional amendment process guarantees that the final decision will rest with the American people and their elected representatives. President Bush will also vigorously defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which was supported by both parties and passed by 85 votes in the Senate. This common sense law reaffirms the right of states not to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states.
"President Bush said, 'We will not stand for judges who undermine democracy by legislating from the bench and try to remake America by court order.' The Republican House of Representatives has responded to this challenge by passing H.R. 3313, a bill to withdraw jurisdiction from the federal courts over the Defense of Marriage Act. We urge Congress to use its Article III power to enact this into law, so that activist federal judges cannot force 49 other states to approve and recognize Massachusetts' attempt to redefine marriage."
"We offer it to our fellow Americans in the assurance that our Republican ideals are those that unify our country: Courage in the face of foreign foes. An optimistic patriotism, driven by a passion for freedom. Devotion to the inherent dignity and rights of every person."
"To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America's Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service."
"We lament that judges have denied the people their right to set abortion policies in the states and are undermining traditional marriage laws from coast to coast."
"Preserving Traditional Marriage
"Because our children's future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.
"Republicans recognize the importance of having in the home a father and a mother who are married. The two-parent family still provides the best environment of stability, discipline, responsibility, and character. Children in homes without fathers are more likely to commit a crime, drop out of school, become violent, become teen parents, use illegal drugs, become mired in poverty, or have emotional or behavioral problems. We support the courageous efforts of single-parent families to provide a stable home for their children. Children are our nation's most precious resource. We also salute and support the efforts of foster and adoptive families.
"Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress. A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex 'marriages' licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter. We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California. We also encourage states to review their marriage and divorce laws in order to strengthen marriage.
"As the family is our basic unit of society, we oppose initiatives to erode parental rights."
National Stonewall Democrats is the national voice of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied Democrats, with more than 80 local affiliates across the nation. Stonewall Democrats works to elect more pro-equality Democrats regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity - and to improve the Democratic Party on issues important to LGBT Democrats.