GOP endorses extremist platform

Timothy Kincaid

August 28th, 2012

The Republican Party has now released it’s “emphatically approved” platform for 2012. It is as nasty as you thought. No, actually, it’s worse.

You can read it here but the following provisions are the ones which most directly impact the gay community (emphasis throughout is added):

From the section on the economy

Reform the tax code by reducing marginal tax rates by 20 percent across-the-board in a revenue-neutral manner; Eliminate the taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains altogether for lower and middle-income taxpayers; End the Death Tax; and Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax.

One of the few points in this document which could positively impact gay people. In those states in which marriage is not recognized, the inheritance tax unfairly taxes same-sex spouses but not opposite sex spouses. Even in marriage states the IRS has insisted on taxing same-sex spouse inheritance. This was successfully challenged in New York, and is currently expected to be heard by the Supreme Court.

While there are other recourses or methods to correct the inequality, should the SCOTUS fail to require that the Federal Government recognize state marriages, this proposed repeal would level the field by eliminating the inheritance tax altogether. And that’s pretty much where the good stuff ends.

From the section on the Restoration of Constitutional Government:

In the spirit of the Constitution, we consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin unacceptable and immoral. We will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes and ask all to join us in rejecting the forces of hatred and bigotry and in denouncing all who practice or promote racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, or religious intolerance. We support efforts to help low-income individuals get a fair chance based on their potential and individual merit; but we reject preferences, quotas, and set-asides as the best or sole methods through which fairness can be achieved, whether in government, education, or corporate boardrooms. In a free society, the primary role of government is to protect the God-given, inalienable, inherent rights of its citizens, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Merit, ability, aptitude, and results should be the factors that determine advancement in our society.

The language of this paragraph – when inspected closely – endorses discrimination against gay and transgender people.

We learn early on that bigotry and discrimination are as active in what isn’t said as in what is. When everyone in the room is praised in some way except you even a child knows that it is personal. You have been isolated and set aside for dissimilar treatment. You didn’t get the cookie, your school didn’t get repainted, all the people who look like you didn’t get scholarships. Nothing has to be said.

And, similarly, we know that when the list of all of those against whom discrimination is opposed includes all the usual targets of discrimination except you, you know that it wasn’t an oversight.

It means that the 2012 Republican Party does not oppose discrimination against you.

A Restoration of Constitutional Order: Congress and the Executive (Top)

We salute Republican Members of the House of Representatives for enshrining in the Rules of the House the requirement that every bill must cite the provision of the Constitution which permits its introduction. Their adherence to the Constitution stands in stark contrast to the antipathy toward the Constitution demonstrated by the current Administration and its Senate allies by appointing “czars” to evade the confirmation process, making unlawful “recess” appointments when the Senate is not in recess, using executive orders to bypass the separation of powers and its checks and balances, encouraging illegal actions by regulatory agencies from the NLRB to the EPA, openly and notoriously displaying contempt for Congress, the Judiciary, and the Constitutional prerogatives of the individual States, refusing to defend the nation’s laws in federal courts or enforce them on the streets, ignoring the legal requirement for legislative enactment of an annual budget, gutting welfare reform by unilaterally removing its statutory work requirement, buying senatorial votes with special favors, and evading the legal requirement for congressional consultation regarding troop commitments overseas. A Republican President and Republican Senate will join House Republicans in living by the rule of law, the foundation of the American Republic.

That “defend the nation’s laws” part is in reference to the determination by the Attorney General and the Justice Department that the Defense of Marriage Act violates the Constitution.

Defending Marriage Against An Activist Judiciary

A serious threat to our country’s constitutional order, perhaps even more dangerous than presidential malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which some judges usurp the powers reserved to other branches of government. A blatant example has been the court-ordered redefinition of marriage in several States. This is more than a matter of warring legal concepts and ideals. It is an assault on the foundations of our society, challenging the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.

A Sacred Contract: Defense of Marriage

That is why Congressional Republicans took the lead in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of States and the federal government not to recognize same-sex relationships licensed in other jurisdictions. The current Administration’s open defiance of this constitutional principle – in its handling of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits, in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base, and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts – makes a mockery of the President’s inaugural oath. We commend the United States House of Representatives and State Attorneys General who have defended these laws when they have been attacked in the courts. We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We applaud the citizens of the majority of States which have enshrined in their constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns underway in several other States to do so.

We’ve already discussed this at length.

From their section on The First Amendment:

The most offensive instance of this war on religion has been the current Administration’s attempt to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs regarding health services, traditional marriage, or abortion. This forcible secularization of religious and religiously affiliated organizations, including faith-based hospitals and colleges, has been in tandem with the current Administration’s audacity in declaring which faith-related activities are, or are not, protected by the First Amendment – an unprecedented aggression repudiated by a unanimous Supreme Court in its Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC decision. We pledge to respect the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard the independence of their institutions from government. We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the right of students to engage in prayer at public school events in public schools and to have equal access to public schools and other public facilities to accommodate religious freedom in the public square. We assert every citizen’s right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs without renouncing their beliefs, removing religious symbols, or submitting to government-imposed hiring practices. We oppose government discrimination against businesses due to religious views. We support the First Amendment right of freedom of association of the Boy Scouts of America and other service organizations whose values are under assault and condemn the State blacklisting of religious groups which decline to arrange adoptions by same-sex couples. We condemn the hate campaigns, threats of violence, and vandalism by proponents of same-sex marriage against advocates of traditional marriage and call for a federal investigation into attempts to deny religious believers their civil rights.

That is not only absurd, it is a declaration of outright war on gay people. You will notice that they DO NOT condemn the hate campaigns, threats of violence, and vandalism that proponents of “traditional marriage” actually engage in on an ongoing basis. In other words, saying unkind things about Chick-Fil-A is condemned by the GOP. Burning down the gay-supportive South Bloomingdale Christian Church is not.

And it is laughable that these “lower taxes, no government spending” folk are all lined up at the trough demanding that they can hold on to their “beliefs” and “participate fully in public programs” as well.

Judicial Activism: A Threat to the U.S. Constitution

Despite improvements as a result of Republican nominations to the judiciary, some judges in the federal courts remain far afield from their constitutional limitations. The U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. Judicial activism which includes reliance on foreign law or unratified treaties undermines American law. The sole solution, apart from impeachment, is the appointment of constitutionalist jurists, who will interpret the law as it was originally intended rather than make it. That is both a presidential responsibility, in selecting judicial candidates, and a senatorial responsibility, in confirming them. We urge Republican Senators to do all in their power to prevent the elevation of additional leftist ideologues to the courts, particularly in the waning days of the current Administration. In addition to appointing activist judges, the current Administration has included an activist and highly partisan Department of Justice. With a Republican Administration, the Department will stop suing States for exercising those powers reserved to the States, will stop abusing its preclearance authority to block photo-ID voting laws, and will fulfill its responsibility to defend all federal laws in court, including the Defense of Marriage Act.

They just can’t get enough of that, can they?

Preserving and Protecting Traditional Marriage

The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children. Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, engage in crime, or get pregnant outside of marriage. The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.

Just in case you missed it elsewhere. Cuz this party wouldn’t want you to accidentally think that they agree with the VAST MAJORITY of the American people who support either marriage (over half) or civil unions (another third).

Adoption and Foster Care

Families formed or enlarged by adoption strengthen our communities and ennoble our nation. We applaud the Republican legislative initiatives that led to a significant increase in adoptions in recent years, and we call upon the private sector to consider the needs of adoptive families on a par with others. Any restructuring of the federal tax code should recognize the financial impact of the adoption process and the commitment made by adoptive families. The nation’s foster care system remains a necessary fallback for youngsters from troubled families. Because of reforms initiated by many States, the number of foster children has declined to just over 400,000. A major problem of the system is its lack of support, financial and otherwise, for teens who age out of foster care and into a world in which many are not prepared to go it alone. We urge States to work with the faith-based and other community groups which reach out to these young people in need.

I’m sure it wasn’t intended, but this would be beneficial to same-sex families, many of whom adopt. Other than the “faith-based” crack, this is actually a pretty good position.

Supporting Federal Healthcare Research and Development

We support federal investment in healthcare delivery systems and solutions creating innovative means to provide greater, more cost-effective access to high quality healthcare. We also support federal investment in basic and applied biomedical research, especially the neuroscience research that may hold great potential for dealing with diseases and disorders such as Autism, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. If we are to make significant headway against breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and other killers, research must consider the special needs of formerly neglected groups.

This is a roundabout way of saying that the party no longer wishes to fund research on HIV/AIDS. That’s reason enough to question their wisdom. At a time when we are on the verge of a breakthrough, with the possibility of the elimination of transmission – if not a complete cure – is at the doorstep, that’s when the GOP wants to focus on Autism and Alzheimers?

This platform is far too extreme for Gerald Ford or George Bush, Sr. And I’ve recently heard commentators say that Ronald Reagan could not be comfortable in this crowd. But with this step they show themselves to be too extreme to be the party of George W. Bush, who – if nothing else – did see the importance of HIV/AIDS programs.

Protecting Individual Conscience in Healthcare

No healthcare professional or organization should ever be required to perform, provide for, withhold, or refer for a medical service against their conscience. This is especially true of the religious organizations which deliver a major portion of America’s healthcare, a service rooted in the charity of faith communities. We do not believe, however, that healthcare providers should be allowed to withhold services because the healthcare provider believes the patient’s life is not worth living. We support the ability of all organizations to provide, purchase, or enroll in healthcare coverage consistent with their religious, moral or ethical convictions without discrimination or penalty. We likewise support the right of parents to consent to medical treatment for their children, including mental health treatment, drug treatment, and treatment involving pregnancy, contraceptives and abortion. We urge enactment of pending legislation that would require parental consent to transport girls across state lines for abortions.

I suspect that this is a direct dig at California’s proposed law to ban reparative therapy for minors.

Under Supporting our Troops

The spiritual welfare of our troops and retired service members should be a priority of our national leadership. With military suicides running at the rate of one a day, with post-service medical conditions, including addiction and mental illness, and with the financial stress and homelessness that is often related to these factors, there is an urgent need for the kind of counseling that faith-based institutions can best provide. We support rights of conscience and religious freedom for military chaplains and people of faith. A Republican Commander in Chief will protect religious independence of military chaplains and will not tolerate attempts to ban Bibles or religious symbols from military facilities. We will enforce and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the Armed Forces as well as in the civilian world.

Funny… the chaplains have no problems with DOMA as enforced on base. But I guess “rights of conscience and religious freedom” means the GOP’s right to dictate what their conscience will tell them and religious freedom is only the freedom to support some religious positions.

You know, it won’t be very long until a majority of the religious people in this country not only support gay rights, but do so out of their firm religious conviction. I doubt we’ll be hearing much about religious freedom then.

From the section on International Assistance

Foreign aid should serve our national interest, an essential part of which is the peaceful development of less advanced and vulnerable societies in critical parts of the world. Assistance should be seen as an alternative means of keeping the peace, far less costly in both dollars and human lives than military engagement. The economic success and political progress of former aid recipients, from Latin America to East Asia, has justified our investment in their future. U.S. aid should be based on the model of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, for which foreign governments must, in effect, compete for the dollars by showing respect for the rule of law, free enterprise, and measurable results. In short, aid money should follow positive outcomes, not pleas for more cash in the same corrupt official pockets.

I included this because when taken with the following statement, it’s shocking:

The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda. At the same time, faith-based groups – the sector that has had the best track record in promoting lasting development – have been excluded from grants because they will not conform to the administration’s social agenda. We will reverse this tragic course, encourage more involvement by the most effective aid organizations, and trust developing peoples to build their future from the ground up.

You get that? The “rule of law” excludes “the homosexual rights agenda”. God, this is an evil document.

I have tremendous respect for Log Cabin for their efforts to fight within the Republican Party and make inroads where they can. But I am glad that I didn’t have to sit in a room with people who seriously can spout this stuff without recognizing the venom and bile that it is.

It’s not just the anti-gay stuff.

Yes, there are some decent clauses and a few ideas that I found reflect some of my own. But then there are those truly mind-numbingly strident statements (on immigration, for example) that leave you wondering just who on Earth they are appealing to. And those by far outweigh any common sense – or even principled conservative approach – that can be gleaned.

Overall, the document seems out-of-touch and extremist and reflective of the views of people that I simply can’t fathom – and I’ve met some pretty unusual people. It’s an angry rant by an increasingly isolated people who seem to mistrust and resent the rest of the world around them; and no one more so than those of us who are gay.

David Waite

August 28th, 2012

Even the parts you liked were only designed to flavor and sweeten the prussic acid of the rest of it. They are also the parts which can be nullified by other provisions, or are rendered meaningless because their larger effect wipes out their seeming advantage to us. Adoption? Not if they pass a federal law prohibiting it to us. The inheritance tax? The 140 families who really really want this won’t care if a lesbian widow gets to keep a few hundred thousand when each member of all their households will get to keep millions. You call that a level playing field. What I call it is unprintable.

Yesterday you suggested this document would, if adopted, embarrass ordinary, decent-minded voters, and I challenged you to show it to 10 conservative friends to see if you were correct. Please consider that a standing challenge. Until you are willing to assure us that you actually ran it by those 10 and they were actually ashamed of it, your personal outrage only serves to inform the rest of us that you are clueless about what shames your fellow conservatives.

But must it be 10 out of 10? No. Assure us of 6 and I’ll publicly acknowlege your wisdom versus my bigoted folly on this. I will absolutely trust your honor to report truthfully, but until you report about ordinary voters I conclude that the only person they’ve both shocked and outraged is you.

The rest of us who are outraged aren’t either shocked or surprised. We haven’t been living under a rock or in a Martian cave or with our heads buried in sand. These people are evil, and their mephitic spiritual odor has pinched the nostrils of the whole world. They aren’t merely guilty of ignorantly following evil mens’ orders; they themselves are evil.

They are sociopaths who don’t believe that all social animals (including humans) are hardwired for justice; the golden rule is used by them strictly as a con on others, and they are proud of their biological apostasy. That is the essential definition of true evil.

People like you and the LCR enable their inherent evil by refusing to admit its existence. Keep it up and you’ll hate yourselves by the time you’re my age, if shame doesn’t kill you short of there. In about 10 years it will start to come home to you: Every time you excused this cesspool of a movement you became complicit in the suicides of broken children, and in the murders of GLBT community members by their movement-sanctioned haters.

Mark F.

August 29th, 2012

Good comments, Timothy.

If you can’t stomach Obama (and I can’t), the only thing to do is to vote for Gary Johnson.


August 29th, 2012

Any vote not for Obama is a vote for Romney. If you don’t like him, don’t vote at all.


August 29th, 2012

“It’s an angry rant by an increasingly isolated people who seem to mistrust and resent the rest of the world around them; and no one more so than those of us who are gay.”

I’m not so sure that they hate us more than anyone else — I suspect it’s just that we’re the easiest target. The blow-back from openly racist or misogynist statements is pretty severe; from anti-gay statements, not so much. If Peter Sprigg or Scott Lively said anything against racial minorities as extreme as what they’ve said against gays, they’d be finished. (Even Rush Limbaugh took a bad hit on that score.)

And it’s Tony Perkins, Brian, Brown, Mat Staver, Matt Barber who are pounding that drum, because they’ve figured out that naked racism doesn’t really pay very well. (I’m waiting and hoping that someone will ask Tony Perkins on national TV how that Klan mailing list worked out for him.)


August 29th, 2012

did you really only have issue with the “dig” at California in the Conscience Clause section? The way it is written, they don’t have to provide care for anyone that does not meet their religous requirements. Such as contraception at the drug store. AND they could effectively say, “Ah, you are a fag, I’m not gonna serve you and you can’t get care here”.

I didn’t realize you were so extreme, and seemingly supportive of some of these odious issues.


August 29th, 2012

So the narrative in the mainstream press is that platforms don’t really matter because nobody governs from them anymore. But for how much longer?

As an outsider I’ve viewed the Tea Party as a revolt against pragmatists who try to govern away from the platform. Am I mistaken in this interpretation? Isn’t that what makes a RINO a RINO? Aren’t RINOs, above and beyond Democrats, the targets of Tea Party supporters? They’d rather have a purist that loses the general election win the primary than a pragmatist who can win the election.

I suppose that party leadership sees the platform as a way to placate the base, but the base is pissed off and has demanded, in primaries at least, that the folks running toe the party line; ie the platform.

I think what we’re witnessing is the collapse of the two party system under the weight of technological advance, voter apathy & gerrymandering. The internet doesn’t allow politicians to placate with impunity, most eligible Americans don’t participate in the primaries & the gerrymandering lessens the importance of the general election by shifting the true election to the primary.

This platform is disturbing not only because of the extremist nature of the language therein but also because it will be the measuring stick against which congressional Republicans running in primaries will be measured in the future.


August 29th, 2012

The most aggravating thing to me is the hypocrisy encapsulated by the language. In the same paragraph, they talk about religious freedom and then bemoan the pluralistic efforts of the current administration and culture. They talk about the freedom of the state and federal governments to define acceptable marriages, then push again for a federal amendment that would prevent both. They criticize the judiciary for usurping the privileges of the other branches of government, ignoring the importance of that branch of government in balancing the other two. They mock the President for his ‘contempt’ of Congress, all the while it was the negligence of Congress forcing the President to take these perfectly legal actions. The theme is very clearly ‘we believe in freedom, order and justice for everybody except those who disagree with us.’

Robert, the writer seemed to be focusing on the clearest connections to LGBT rights a freedoms. I think we can each go back and find a dozen more ways these things can be used to hurt LGBT people. But the most important point remains: this isn’t good for LGBT people. This also isn’t good for women, immigrants and non-Christians, none of which are the topic of the post.

Priya Lynn

August 29th, 2012

Blake said “So the narrative in the mainstream press is that platforms don’t really matter because nobody governs from them anymore.”.

The narrative is wrong, parties do govern from their platforms. People wouldn’t have fights over their platforms and put a lot of effort into influencing them if they were just ignored.

“Gerald M. Pomper, a professor emeritus of political science at Rutgers University, studied meaningful platform pledges from 1944 to 1976 — and later updated his work by looking at the 1990s — and found that winning political parties try to redeem roughly 70 percent of their concrete platform pledges.”.


August 29th, 2012

David Waite said “They are sociopaths…; the golden rule is used by them strictly as a con on others…. People…enable their inherent evil by refusing to admit its existence.”

I am not shocked, surprised, or even outraged all that much any more. I have gone through all the stages of grief and finally reached acceptance. David is right. Evil is incarnate, right here and now, and those who refuse to see it—or examine their role in relation to it—are dupes.

“Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities.” —Voltaire

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