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The Party Platforms

Timothy Kincaid

August 13th, 2012

This is a rather exciting year for firsts, when it comes to party platforms.

The most exciting and best known change comes in the Democratic Party platform which will, for the first time, endorse marriage equality. Although many party members and elected officials have been supportive, it was not until this election cycle that there is sufficient consolidation of position (about two thirds) to make this an agreed upon issue.

While this is a bit of a gamble (we could get blamed if the Democrats do less well than expected), it is, I think both the right thing to do and a smart political choice. The movement is towards equality and even those who do not support us won’t be surprised by the move.

But another smaller change also has happened this year, one that mostly flew under the radar. But this change is probably far more important than it might appear at first glance: Log Cabin, the organization for gay and lesbian Republicans, is for the first time sending a delegation to the Republican platform committee.

Now I don’t anticipate that there will be anything remotely resempling a positive plank come out of that committee. It will oppose equality and probably call for an anti-gay constitutional amendment. But it is possible that by simply being in the room, they will be able to influence the language adopted. It’s harder to be dispicably vile when your victim is sitting there looking at you.

But it is not the anticipated content of the platform that is worth note. As a symbolic move, allowing Log Cabin to participate is of tremendous importance. For decades the GOP has been openly hostile to its gay members – when it even bothered to notice their existence. For the first time, the party has – by this move – indicated that gay Republicans are “real” Republicans and have a legitimate place in the Party.

It will be some time before the Republican Party follows the lead of Europe’s conservatives and decides that “marriage is a conservative value”. And the voices of discrimination and animus will only get shriller before they are drowned out by the inevitable change in public position.

But these small steps are exciting to see. They demonstrate a change in the Nation that promises our eventual success. And they send a signal to the raging anti-gays that their days are numbered, that no matter how much chikin they binge in their battle for superiority, the end of the war is in sight.

Comments

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TampaZeke
August 13th, 2012 | LINK

I think, in the long run, this will be a positive development. In the VERY, VERY, VERY long run. After all the RNC has had women on their platform steering committees for DECADES yet they still advance policy planks from the 1950’s when it comes to women’s rights and women’s health. I sincerely doubt that we can expect them to move any more quickly on GLBT supportive planks. I don’t see the extreme religious right losing their grip on the GOP anytime soon. But hey, miracles do happen.

Timothy Kincaid
August 13th, 2012 | LINK

Zeke,

I agree that it may be a very long time. I hope you’re wrong, but I think you’re probably right.

But I do want to differ with your illustration.

Many of the women who are active in GOP politics do not support abortion rights nor would they see this as a woman’s rights issue. However, the Log Cabiners do support marriage equality, the overturn of adoption bans, full inclusion, etc.

Which made me realize something… it wasn’t GOProud that they credentialed. GOProud would probably vote in committee with the far right anti-gays. But they selected Log Cabin instead.

This may just be hope speaking, but… I wonder if this isn’t a move which is based in the recognition that if they don’t change their positions on gay rights by 2016, 2020 at the very latest, they will be unelectable.

David Rogers
August 13th, 2012 | LINK

As when Log Cabin was fighting (and embarrassing the hell out of Obama’s administration) to defeat DADT, I wish them the very best of luck and applaud their patience, efforts, and hard work. I appreciate the continued coverage of the Log Cabin Republicans-the sooner equality is a plank supported universally, the sooner we can focus on other ways to improve the country-and the world.

Sincerely,

A Democrat

TampaZeke
August 13th, 2012 | LINK

I agree on all three points.

Jim Hlavac
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

Yep, the nation is “evolving.” And we gay folks don’t need one or the other party for us — we need every single last one of 320 million Americans to just not give a damn anymore. Then we shall live in peace. But each takes his time to come ’round for us.

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