RNC Committee Passes Most Overtly Anti-LGBTQ Platform in History

by HRC Staff

Washington -- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, today blasted the Republican National Committee for the platform committee's decision to pass a platform with a slew of anti-equality provisions, including attacks on transgender people and a commitment to overturn nationwide marriage equality.

“The RNC's convention theme might as well have been 'Take America Backward Again,'" said HRC President Chad Griffin. "The Republican Party has just formally adopted the most overtly discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ platform in history. Unfortunately, we can only expect more of the same from Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who seem committed to driving the GOP back into the dark ages."

Leading LGBTQ Republicans agree - they have called the platform the most anti-LGBTQ in the party’s 162-year history. Below is a snapshot of some of the anti-LGBTQ provisions embedded in the Republican Party platform, which is expected to be approved by convention delegates, and where the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, stand:

On Marriage Equality:

Republican officials continue to reject the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that gave same-sex individuals 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 DOMA 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 discredited research 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 same-sex couples from adoption or foster care, 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 in the federal government. 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 or expression. 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 sections 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 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.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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