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Republican National Convention 2016 Platform Takes Harsh Stance Against LGBTQ Issues

by HRC staff July 18, 2016

Delegates to the Republican National Convention (RNC) today are expected to advance their extreme anti-LGBTQ agenda by adopting a platform that promotes not only trampling the rights of our community, but rolling back historic advances -- including marriage equality -- made under the leadership of President Obama.

The party’s abhorrent platform, described by some of the GOP’s own members as the most anti-LGBTQ in history, aligns closely with positions taken by presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump, and his vice presidential pick, Mike Pence, who has made virulent anti-LGBTQ activism a cornerstone of his political career.

The GOP platform is a truly frightening reflection of Trump and Pence. They, and the Republican delegates, are dangerously out of step with the majority of fair-minded Americans who believe that LGBTQ people should be treated equally under the law.

Below is a snapshot of some of the anti-LGBTQ provisions embedded in the proposed GOP platform and where the candidates stand.

On Marriage Equality:

Republican officials continue to reject the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that gave same-sex couples the nationwide right to marry. The platform asserts that laws and government regulations should only “recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” and explicitly calls for “judicial reconsideration or a Constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to states.”

The Trump/Pence ticket: Donald Trump opposes marriage equality -- pledging to fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a justice who would overturn equality. Pence is also a longtime-foe and urged amending Indiana’s Constitution to outlaw marriage equality after section three of DOMA, which restricted the federal government from recognizing the legal marriages of same-sex couples, was ruled unconstitutional.

On Family and Society:

The platform “supports adoption organizations that refuse to serve gay couples,” and suggests that “children raised in households without a mother and father are more prone to use drugs, commit crime and get pregnant outside of marriage.” The platform also cites research that has been debunked and discredited, asserting that “children raised in a ‘traditional two-parent household’ are likelier to have healthier outcomes.”

The Trump/Pence ticket: As governor, Mike Pence’s “right to discriminate” bill could have allowed businesses to discriminate and deny service to LGBTQ people because of who they are or whom they love.

On the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA):

The platform vigorously endorses the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a deeply discriminatory anti-LGBTQ bill that would sanction unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people. Under FADA, individuals or organizations could deny spousal and parental rights, allow housing discrimination against LGBTQ people, or exclude surviving same-sex spouses  from grief counseling programs, all while bankrolled by U.S. taxpayers.

The Trump/Pence ticket: Trump has committed to signing the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” a bill to enable taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people. Trump said at the Iowa Faith and Family Coalition, his priority as President would be to “preserve and protect our religious liberty.”

On Conversion Therapy:

The platform includes affirming language about so-called “conversion therapy,” a dangerous and discredited practice that falsely claims to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Republicans cited “parental rights” to justify supporting the practice, which is tantamount to child abuse. Former leaders of the conversion-therapy movement have denounced the practice and its presence on the RNC platform.

The Trump/Pence ticket: In 2000, Pence wanted to cut funding for HIV prevention and redirect the funds “toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

On Transgender Rights:

Republicans are using the platform to affirm their support for discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ bills in North Carolina and Mississippi targeting the transgender community. The platform in two separate amendments calls for legislation to prevent transgender people from “using public restrooms that align with their gender identity,” arguing speciously that it is “illegal and dangerous” and “alien to America’s history and traditions.”

The Obama Administration’s historic end of the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving openly in the military was also attacked by the platform committee, which crafted absurd language warning against the “modification or lessening of standards” throughout the military.

The Trump/Pence ticket: When asked about laws like North Carolina’s deeply discriminatory HB2, Trump said he supported the law, saying, “I’m going with the state. The state, they know what’s going on, they see what’s happening and generally speaking I’m with the state on things like this. I’ve spoken with your governor, I’ve spoken with a lot of people and I’m going with the state.” Trump previously told Sean Hannity that when it comes to laws like North Carolina’s HB2, Trump said he would “leave it up to the states.” Pence and Trump oppose guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that clarifies that transgender students have a right under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to access restrooms consistent with their gender identity, saying, “The federal government has no business getting involved in issues of this nature.”

On Non-Discrimination Protection for LGBTQ Americans:

While the official 2012 Republican Platform states that the party will “strongly enforce antidiscrimination 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,” there are glaring exception: it excludes a number of state and federally protected classes, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

HRC staff
HRC staff


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