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Texas Republicans No Longer Want to Imprison Gays! (Not officially, at least)

Rob Tisinai

June 26th, 2012

This is…progress, I suppose.

In 2008 and 2010, the Texas State Republican Platform contained the following language:

Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy…

Marriage Licenses – We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.

Neither of those are in the 2012 platform. That’s kind of a big deal. Throwing gays in prison is apparently no longer a political winner even in the conservative heartland of the conservative heartland.

Here’s another improvement. The 2010 platform offered a vile equation of gays with child molesters:

We also believe that no homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be prohibited but if ordered by the court limited to supervised periods.

That’s gone from 2012, with the language changed to:

We believe that no individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child. An abused child should be given the option of declining visitation with his/her abuser. If court ordered, visitation with minor children by such persons should be supervised.

Also, they’ve backed away from total opposition to gay adoption and now are merely opposing “mandates that deny mothers a choice in selecting a traditional home for their children.”

That’s good news for kids with same-sex parents, so let me shout, Hoo-r…

Hold on.

Hoo-r…

Let me try one more time.

Hoo-r…oh, screw it.

It’s hard to cheer this, even though it’s a subtle but clear signal we’re winning the culture war, even on the most hostile of fronts. Because the new platform still says this:

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.

Got to love the scare quotes around “couples.” I knew they thought we couldn’t “marry” but apparently we can’t even “couple.”

Still, this horrible anti-gay platform is better than than evil version it only recently replaced. Yes, evil — that anti-parent, anti-child policy of treating gay moms and dads as if they were convicted child molesters was evil. But it casts a new light on Dan Savage’s recent “house faggots” comment. I can’t support Dan on that comment. I wish he wouldn’t call anyone a faggot. I wished nobody called anyone a faggot. However, I also wish the outraged conservatives piling on Dan’s choice of word were just as outraged by the evil that our country’s biggest state Republican party has only just now stopped promoting. I wish they recognized that Dan’s comment, however intemperate and unfair, was not unprovoked.

But I’m detouring from my original point, my happier point. We’re winning. Even in the most hostile political circles, where winning is mostly an improved version of losing — we’re still winning. This is progress, and it’s only my privileged, urban, Southern-California perspective that makes it hard for me to celebrate it. But we’re winning.

And by the way, there must have been some intense debates going on in Republican Texas over these changes. If anyone has video, transcripts, or links, please post them in the comments.

Comments

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Lindoro Almaviva
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

I wonder whether the house gays of GoProud are cheering. Surely they must be proud of this.

Christopher
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

In a way I think the Texas Republican party has done us a favor. I know that there are a lot of Republicans–possibly even some in Texas–who don’t agree with what this statement says, and there are even some who adamantly oppose it.

And it’s time for them to speak up. Are they really interested in freedom and making this country better…or is it more important for them to stand with their fellow Republicans in Texas?

This could potentially split the Republican party, but I doubt it will actually happen. Some will defend their fellow Republicans, some will waffle, some will sidestep the issue, and a lot will realize that this platform won’t cost them enough votes for them to be concerned about it.

Steve
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Their platform also vehemently opposes the teaching of “critical thinking” because it could underdo religious brainwashing and indoctrination.

There are lots other whacky and evil ideas in there like abolishing income tax, returning to the gold standard or endorsing corporal punishment for children

Timothy Kincaid
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

I would caution against making the equation that “the far right activist segment of the Texas Republican Party to whom writing the platform are raging homophobes” so therefore “all Republicans are raging homophobes” and thus “all gay Republicans are house faggots”.

Those who are part of a party with which they agree on all major issues have a luxury. For those who simply cannot convince themselves that corporations are evil or that the problem with the world is that there is to much influence of old white men or that one can simultaneously provide a 21st Century American idea of assistance to those with less while also having open borders… well we to make compromises.

I know that there are some who think that one’s sexual orientation dictates their views on off shore drilling or capital gains tax. They demand that because I am gay, that I must ignore how politics effects every other aspect of my life.

GOProud does the opposite. They demand that because my observations direct me towards many positions that are considered conservative, that I must ignore how politics effects my orientation.

I happen to think that GOProud is nuts. But no more so than those who picked their political views based on which way their dick points.

Now I don’t think that you or Dan Savage or any of our authors or most of our readers are tick-box gay Democrats. But you have to be careful that in the comfort of cohesion in your party’s views that you don’t make presumptions about those who differ on a few of them.

TampaZeke
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Texas Republicans, moving BOLDLY into the Twentieth Century!

TampaZeke
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

To be clear Timothy, MOST of us Democrats are Democrats for a thousand reasons that have nothing to do with which way our dick points. It gets pretty tiresome hearing gay Republicans self-righteously talking about how THEY aren’t one issue voters, as if gay Democrats are one issue voters. In fact, I also have strong political opinions on national security (strong), domestic and foreign terrorism (against), taxes (EVERYONE pays their fair share), the military (strong, well paid and used sparingly) and immigration (regulated but accessible) but I find that the Democratic Party is the Party that most closely represents my views on these issues.

I doubt that you were making the insinuation that so many others do, but just in case I wanted to make the point.

Ben in Oakland
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

One small correction to their program.

“the practice of homohaters tears at the fabric of society in a way that gay people couldn’t accomplish even if we took fabric tearing and bodice ripping on as a full time occupation.”

There. Fixed that.

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

I love how Timothy demands that we not make stereotypical comments about Republicans, then turns around and makes stereotypical comments about Democrats. Does my point in the other blog post about Timothy being a covert blogger for GoProud still stand?

Rob Tisinai
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Neon Genesis, can you specify the stereotypical comments Timothy made about Democrats in this thread?

Priya Lynn
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “I know that there are some who think that one’s sexual orientation dictates their views on off shore drilling or capital gains tax.”.

Trouble is the reasons people say they’re voting Republican are the reasons they should be voting Democrat. The Republicans are no longer the party of fiscal responsiblity the Democrats are with Bush running up far bigger deficits than Obama and it was Clindton that had a surplus, not a Republican president. There’s been more offshore drilling under Obama than there was under Bush and so once again, the reasons people give for voting republican are reasons they should be voting Democrat.

The vast majority of Republican voters are voting against their own self interest because they’ve been conned into thinking what’s good for the very wealthy is good for them. For example, I doubt very much that Timothy has any capital gains worth worrying about that would in any way make up for the additional taxes the poor and middle class will pay under Republican governance.

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy made this really strange argument that “tick box” gay Democrats only oppose off shore oil drilling and extremist border patrol laws because we think with our dick, which doesn’t even make any sense. He then made thinly veiled accusations of how gay Democrats supposedly care more about the rights of immigrants than poor people and we’re all ageist against the elderly or something. His whole argument seems to be “I happen to think gay Democrats are nuts, therefore this justifies GOProud being nuts.”

Rob Tisinai
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Priya, in Timothy’s comment he cautioned people (rightly, in my view) against saying “all Republicans are raging homophobes” and thus “all gay Republicans are house faggots”.

The statement: “I know that there are some who think that one’s sexual orientation dictates their views on off shore drilling or capital gains tax,” is not a categorical statement of the same type, and is not an example of Timothy making a stereotypical comment about Democrats.

Rob Tisinai
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Neon, that’s not how I read his statement at all.

TampaZeke
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Rob, I don’t think Timothy was necessarily making the points that people are upset about in his comment today. The problem is Timothy has a long history of making such comments which has caused a lot of us to become hyper-sensitive to the way he makes political comments. That was why I felt it necessary to clarify the point I did while at the same time stating that I didn’t think it was what Timothy was intending in his comment. I’m giving the benefit of the doubt because I’ve noticed that Timothy seems to be much more aware of how he was stereotyping equally as bad as those he was complaining about and he seems to be more thoughtful in his comments. Others may not be ready to give the benefit of the doubt yet.

Priya Lynn
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Rob I didn’t say Timothy was making stereotypical comments about Democrats.

Rob Tisinai
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Sorry, Pryia. Some many simultaneous conversations: I asked Neon to specify what Timothy said, and then you said, “Timothy said,” so I thought what you said was in response to what I said about what Neon said about what Timothy said about what some people might say (or have said).

Hope that clears up what I said. :)

Priya Lynn
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

No problem.

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

“The statement: “I know that there are some who think that one’s sexual orientation dictates their views on off shore drilling or capital gains tax,” is not a categorical statement of the same type, and is not an example of Timothy making a stereotypical comment about Democrats.”

But the only examples he gave of gay Democrats “who picked their political views based on which way their dick points” were just examples of gay Democrats who supported political positions he didn’t like.

Charles
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

My guess is that Dick Cheney, Mr. Evil Halliburton, did not have any input whatsoever on the Texas Republican Party Platform. And, my congratulations to Timothy for his statement.

Both Republicans and Democrats are to blame for the current financial mess we are in. Here in South Carolina which has been run by conservative Republicans for decades is currently having to deal with an enormous shortfall in the funding of the State Retirement Fund. The amount is around $15 billion. Politicians time after time create entitlement programs and for some odd reason always end up miscalculating their true cost.

Yes, we are winning the culture war and will continue to do so.

Timothy (TRiG)
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

I know that there are some who think that one’s sexual orientation dictates their views on off shore drilling or capital gains tax. They demand that because I am gay, that I must ignore how politics effects every other aspect of my life.

No. That has nothing to do with my sexual orientation. It’s about being a decent human being.

TRiG.

Rob Tisinai
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Neon, Timothy did indicate that some Democrats who hold those view hold them simply because they’re gay and toeing a party line. However, he did not say all gays who hold those views hold them for that reason. That’s quite a difference — the difference between an observation about some individuals and a categorical stereotype about all members of a group.

I suspect we’ll come to no agreement on this one. I’m going to let it rest there.

Charles
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

I guess I am traitor the GLBT cause, since I mostly vote for Republicans. I do find that the Republican Party is not in sync with my views about gay rights, but they are more in sync with myself on other issues that I find very important. Also, I recognize that the Republican Party is not walking in lock step against gay rights. They are having an internal fight over the issue like nearly all political parties have over issues. Perhaps Dick Cheney should pen a newspaper article denouncing the Texas Party Platform, since he clearly supports his gay daughter and her spouse, Heather, who have children and are now married.

Boo
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

It’s all well and good to say that one agrees with some parts of the Republican platform, but at this particular point in time, a vote for Republicans is a vote for a party that denies our full humanity. Even if an individual Republican representative seems to have no problem with gay rights, they’re still caucusing with a party that denies our full humanity. And it’s all well and good for Dick Cheney to support his daughter, but he also sat by and did nothing during the 2004 elections when anti-gay hatemongering was a major part of the Republican strategy. At this point in time, a vote for Republicans is against our most basic interests, as human beings. And one can recognize that and still cheer on the Log Cabin Republicans who are acually working to change the party, as opposed to GOProud who only want to lick boots.

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Even if you like the GOP for its fiscal economic issues, what exactly has the GOP done in the last decade to improve the economy? Conservatism and “fiscal responsibility” is like the biggest oxymoron.

JohnAGJ
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Being of a more conservative bent on fiscal matters at least, I probably should say something to defend those of like mind. However, given that my choices this year are between a narcissistic, preening and incompetent buffoon, or a used car salesman (believe me, given my past experience with such folks that description is FAR worse in my eyes), I guess I’ll just echo Mercutio and wish a pox on both their houses. I do not agree with either party and neither of them defends my interests. It’s all about money, perks and power for both Republicans and Democrats, which they swear it’s not at all. Meh. I’m weary of the whole game. I hope Obama gets tossed out on his rear as he deserves to be followed by Romney.

Désirée
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Sounds like we have a bunch of conservatives who *should* be voting for Gary Johnson… but won’t

Charles
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

JohnAGI, you are far more cynical than myself. I will have to say that anyone who wants the job as president of the United States is mentally ill. You can’t please everyone in your on party much less everyone in the entire country. Everyday you wake up you are going to offend someone. And, then if something goes wrong somewhere in the world that darn phone is gong to ring in the middle of the night.

The Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) legislation has been Obama’s crowning achievement during his first term in office. Sometime tomorrow we will know if it is constitutional or not. The question is will the entire bill be thrown out or will just part of the bill ruled unconstitutional? Personally, I think it is the worst piece of legislation that has ever been passed in my lifetime. Nancy Pelosi summed it all up when she made the comment that we need to pass the bill in order to find out what is in it…………..Oh, that is a great way to pass a landmark piece of legislation that will take over a huge part of our economy. Personally I wish all medical care was free, but we already have a shortage of doctors. From where are all the new doctors supposed to come. Who is going to pay them enough to pay off their enormous loans taken out to go through undergraduate school and medical school…………..and, pay them enough to reward them for their extremely hard work in becoming doctors?

Stephen
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Charles, other countries with far better and cheaper health care than ours manage to find doctors. France does OK. I suspect that you don’t pay for your own insurance: I do. It is now over $9,000 a year just for me. And that’s a bargain because I get my insurance via my union and COBRA. The health care act you dismiss has saved us already about $2,000 for my husband’s diabetes medications as the so-called doughnut hole begins to shrink. The Act is a beginning, not an end. You don’t seem to understand that it will save money for the government. If this most corrupt and partisan court in a 100 years votes down this legislation I expect to see my premiums jump to pay for the lobbying undertaken by CIGNA and to pay for its CEO’s huge salary and bonuses.

Charles
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Stephen, I pay my insurance out of my own pocket and have done so for the past twenty years. I don’t think anybody believes that some reform is needed. You say that the current United States Supreme Court is the most corrupt and partisan in a 100 years. Which I find to be totally amusing. You might be able to make such a remark about our congress and president, but not about the United States Supreme Court.

You mentioned France in your response as having a system that we might ought to copy. I certainly would not be adverse to studies being made to determine what other countries are doing right that are effective. All I seem to hear about are horror stories about the government run Canadian and British medical systems.

Timothy Kincaid
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Desiree

You identified my Presidential choice. And, as rarely happens, I’ll be voting for someone rather than against the alternative.

Actually I don’t object to Obama – though I am no fan of Obamacare (my premiums immediately skyrocketed) – and, heresy of heresies, I could accept Romney over many other alternatives (his anti-gay advocacy is glaringly fake and limited to one issue that seems to have disappeared now that he has won the primary). So i just have no hate to dish out this year.

But Johnson’s my man this go round. Which, as I live in California, will have zero impact on anything.

Hue-Man
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Charles. Unlike the British NHS, Canadian medicare is NOT government run. Wiki: “According to Dr. Albert Schumacher, former president of the Canadian Medical Association, an estimated 75 percent of Canadian health care services are delivered privately, but funded publicly.”

I linked to this survey at Americablog this a.m. http://www.cma.ca/multimedia/CMA/Content_Images/Inside_cma/Media_Release/2011/reportcard/2011National-Report-Card_en.pdf

Hue-Man
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

You’re too glass half full – Texas TeaParty/GOP reminds me of the old saw: do you want to be hanged for murder or for bank robbery? They may have dropped one or two anti-gay provisions BUT it doesn’t mean they won’t enact them (and certainly doesn’t mean they don’t continue to believe them).

StraightGrandmother
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Gay Rights = Human Rights
Human Rights = Gay Rights

First and foremost FOR ME is getting sexual minorities treated as Equal United States Citizens by their government. Everything else after that is secondary. And for those who disagree do they speak and vote from a position of privilege?

Privilege meaning they do not have anybody that they want to marry. OR they are already legally married to a same gender spouse. Are they living in a State that HAS anti discriminatory laws to protect sexual minorities? Perhaps living in a State that provides for strong Legal Civil Unions? In other words you speak from a position of privilege so you can go on to look at other issues.

My vote goes for leaders who will represent the people who live in those 30 States where it is 100% Completely Legal to say,

“Helen told me you are a Dyke, sorry we don’t want Dykes here, go to HR and pick up your Paycheck”

“Although you had the best references and the highest Credit Score you are not going to get the apartment, my current tenants don’t want to live next door to trannies.”

“Fellas yeah you are going to have to leave, we don’t serve Faggots here”

We risk in our community the votes of the gay “haves” vs the votes of the gay “have nots.” If you already are protected from the above you feel that you are perfectly free to look to other issues that impact you. Lower taxes for example. In my opinion this is simply selling out all the other sexual minorities who are living in the States who are “Have Nots.” It is selfish.

In my opinion everyone should vote en block for candidates who WILL implement polices to make sexual minorities equal to heterosexuals. Once that has been achieved, we are all free to go separate ways. And that is my opinion.

Charles
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, California is not a certainly not a battleground state. It is just is one messed up state when it comes to financial matters. I heard that the city of Stockton is declaring bankruptcy. I’m afraid it is the first of many cities that will have to do the same in order to get out from under their overly generous public pension promises made when the economy was rolling along like gangbusters.

tristram
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

A vote for anyone other than Obama this November is a vote to reverse the significant progress that this country has made recently toward equal rights for lgbt citizens. Romney may indeed be lying about his determination to embed a ban on same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution, about his antipathy to ENDA, about his love of DOMA and his preference for DADT, and about a zillion other policies as well.

But he is not lying about his determination to nominate judges to the Federal courts, and the SCOTUS in particular, who will find a rationale to reverse or erode the cases that have opened the way for the great expansion of gay rights over the past several decades in this country. In fact, he has made as firm a commitment as the man can make to his church, to NOM and to all the most reactionary religious fundamentalists in his party base to appoint just such judges. And its likely that he would be in a position to appoint as many as three justices to SCOTUS in his first term.

All serious analysis of the equality cases (DOMA, Prop 2, etc.) moving through the Federal courts right now presumes that there are four votes for and against each of them, with Anthony Kennedy as the ‘swing vote.’ But if Ginsburg (or Kennedy, himself) is replaced by another Scalia/Thomas/Roberts type, there will be nothing to swing for several decades to come.

customartist
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

I will NEVER vote Republican.

Fuck Texas. Fuck Republicans.

Neon Genesis
June 28th, 2012 | LINK

The problem with Romney is he lies about everything. I don’t understand how Republicans were able to make a huge deal about John Kerry flip flopping on one whole issue yet they’ll blindly vote for Romney who even flip flops on whether or not he likes salmon.

Priya Lynn
June 28th, 2012 | LINK

Neon Genesis, to the republicans a flip flop is only wrong if the Democrats do it.

Pacal
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

“All I seem to hear about are horror stories about the government run Canadian and British medical systems.”

The Canadian system is still much cheaper than than the American and here we hear all sorts of horror stories about people bankruped by the American system. HMO’s and Insurance companies refusing to cover people for example. Yep it is obvious your listening to “objective” media reports.

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