GOP’s Platform Pushes Farther Right, Still Anti-LGBT and Dangerous For Us All

feature image via TIME

Republican politicians and the party’s delegates descended upon Cleveland to kick off the Republican National Convention on Monday and, boy, has it been a nightmarish TV show come to life. If you missed the first episode, you can find recap highlights here.

One of the first things the Republican party checked off their agenda was they released their final party platform Monday afternoon. The document isn’t a binding contract for Donald Trump or other candidates but is a clear statement of the party’s values and goals on various issues. It’s no surprise here but their policy blueprint isn’t friendly toward LGBT people and women, in fact their platform is incredibly hostile and even more extreme and dangerous than ever before. 

Their platform covers a whole lot of issues and is extensively studded with the words “God,” “natural,” “family,” “liberty,” “freedom,” “religious,” and of course “American.” It’s sounds like a really bad 4th of July event flyer but it’s not — it’s a whole political party’s belief system. Even though the Supreme Court has ruled it into law already, the party openly opposes same-sex marriage. They staunchly oppose their “religious freedom” from being taken away and vow to defend it by supporting legislation that allows people and businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. They condemn trans people from using the restroom that aligns with their gender because they say it’s “illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues.” They believe “that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights,” whatever that means. They oppose women getting abortions because they supposedly care about “protecting human life” and want to defund organizations like Planned Parenthood, which they specifically named in the document. But at the same time, amidst the constant gun violence we’ve witnessed over the past few weeks, they make no moves on gun control and instead wholeheartedly embrace their fucking right to bear arms. They call pornography a “public health crisis.” The document also affirms Trump’s Mexico wall dreams by saying their “highest priority” is to “secure our borders.” I mean there’s more, but you get the picture. These are all things we all knew and hate about the GOP but it’s frightening to know thousands of individuals discussed it and agreed that this is what they believe.

What’s even more concerning is the GOP completely went against their own party’s recommendations to broaden the party’s appeal. After Mitt Romney’s loss to Obama in 2012, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus ordered an “autopsy report” to figure out what went wrong and how to avoid defeat in the 2016 presidential election. The report, called the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” found the party needed to be more inclusive of people of color, especially Latino voters, and needed to appeal to younger voters.

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“The perception, revealed in polling, that the GOP does not care about people is doing great harm to the party and its candidates on the federal level, especially in presidential years,” said the report. “It is a major deficiency that must be addressed.” You see, even the Republican party had proof they needed to chill with their oppressive views.

The 2013 RNC autopsy report recommended the party should “champion comprehensive immigration reform” to appeal to the fastest-growing population in the country. “It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies,” the report says. “In essence, Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.”

The autopsy report didn’t include a section on appealing to LGBT people but they did say the party should adopt a welcoming tone toward LGBT Americans as a way to appeal to young voters who are cool with the gays. “Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be. If our Party is not welcoming and inclusive, young people and increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out.”

Spoiler alert: none of these recommendations were implemented this year and instead the party’s platform has moved even farther to the right, armed with even more offensive and dangerous rhetoric personified by Donald Trump.

Log Cabin Republicans tried desperately to persuade party members to change the platform’s views regarding LGBT Americans but garnered little support. Gregory T. Angelo, President of Log Cabin Republicans, called it “the most anti-LGBT Platform in the Party’s 162-year history.”

Many journalists have noted, in the past, platforms only have meaning to the party and are often ignored by everyone else. However, this platform is notable because it’s extremely conservative ; one Washington Post journalist says it “will be remembered chiefly as having reinforced a conservative shift that has taken place since the party’s 2012 defeat in the presidential race, and underscored the power of the constituency that fueled Trump’s victory in the nomination battle.” The New York Times’ editorial board writes: “Tailored to Mr. Trump’s impulsive bluster, this document lays bare just how much the G.O.P. is driven by a regressive, extremist inner core.”

We’re no strangers to what the Republican party presented in their platform. Their proposed and passed legislation has been our living nightmare the last few years with the fight for reproductive health rights and LGBT non-discrimination laws at the forefront, along with a plethora of other issues that are important to our communities. But now as another presidential election is in full swing, the party’s platform is a concrete reminder that these conservative politicians aren’t stopping anytime soon and have even more momentum to carry out their plans.

Yvonne S. Marquez is a lesbian journalist and former Autostraddle senior editor living in Dallas, TX. She writes about social justice, politics, activism and other things dear to her queer Latina heart. Yvonne was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter. Read more of her work at yvonnesmarquez.com.

Yvonne has written 205 articles for us.

10 Comments

    • Amen to that… I don’t even live in the US (and boy am I glad right now) and even I am scared, like genuinely, existentially scared of a world where Trump wins. At this point it doesn’t even matter anymore what you think of Hillary, this is a question of whether or not you want the human race to survive in any fashion that still deserves the word “human”. Please, America, don’t screw this up, please…

  1. Warning: Semi Rant Ahead

    The Republican Party traditionally has been the party of the rich who seek leadership who will protect their holdings, rather than lead to enable the less powerful, poorer people of our country. They support the ” trickle down” theory of economics ….rich get breaks to create more businesses which then creates jobs for the rest of us. But notice which group benefits first!
    Whereas, the Democrats seek to provide opportunities for the poorer folks first….through economic support, lower taxes, relief with the economic theory that more money in the pockets of the poorer people creates demand for products that causes expansion of production capability….”the percolate up” theory of economic growth. The people who NEED help to exist get help first!
    The names change, the rhetoric changes, the year changes,……but the essence remains…..every four years.
    The irony this year, to me, is how many people who support Trump seem to think he is ” a man of the people”……AMAZING!!! When he is simply a privileged rich white guy whose documented life has been about just using his inherited money to use “people” in his single minded, ego-centric purpose in his life of self promotion via any disgraceful and duplicitous means available. He does NOT CARE about us at all! He is the Flim-Flam Man and nothing more!

    Never Trump!! Never Never Never!….

    • He (Trump) does not have to care about every marginalized group in America, he just has to care about America as a whole. So saw the same thing with the current administration. The current POTUS and his former Secretary of State don’t care about the military, law enforcement and the veterans of both. That makes up around 15% of the population. Then add the average white American that apparently should feel guilt for what happened nearly 200 years ago.
      But that is not the point. The Supreme Court ruling that you had mentioned was a clarification of the first amendment. They did not rule anything into law, or rewrite the constitution. That is not what the judicial branch does. From what I have seen, the LBGTQ community has nothing to fear from Trump except the sound bites taken out of context from the regressive far left. Trump, when he gets elected (not if), will not abuse his executive powers like his predecessor. He cannot write an unconstitutional law and muscle it into being. He does not care about ostracizing a small percentage of the population, he wants to end globalization, end illegal immigration and rebuild America. I must confess, I am dreadfully excited for this winter.

  2. Even the first three sentences are incredibly disturbing:
    “We believe in American exceptionalism.
    We believe the United States of America is
    unlike any other nation on earth.
    We believe America is exceptional because of
    our historic role — first as refuge, then as defender,
    and now as exemplar of liberty for the world to see.”

    • This is why I was never able to pledge allegiance to the flag as a child (oh, teachers loved that. They made me stand up anyway, those bitches).

      I have no allegiance to our flag. I DO believe that we are only as strong as our weakest link (or most egregious human rights violation), and right now, our weakest links are just freaking everywhere: the strong ties between corporate money and politicians, our worldwide human rights violations, such as drone strikes on civilians, made (by all of them, even Obama) in the name of the ‘War on Terror,’ our long legacy of racism (and the literal murder of Black people) that continues to be enshrined in our systems of government and policing, the criminalization of homelessness, the criminalization of poverty, the criminalization of addiction in the ‘war on drugs,” (see guys? wars are ALWAYS bad!), the rampant misogyny which still pervades all corners of our society, illustrated ever too clearly by coordinated campaigns of online terror against people like Anita Sarkeesian and Leslie Jones (oh and the wage gap, obvi), the constant dehumanization and sometimes murder of trans women of color across our country, Fox News and the dangerous machine of the 24-hour news cycle when news corporations are not accountable to anyone and don’t have to actually try and tell any sort of objective truth, and, finally, the literal circle of hell that the GOP is currently holding their convention in.

      American Exceptionalism is a lie. It’s a virtual reality the GOP sells themselves and us, EVEN AS THEY ALSO TELL US TO BE SCARED OF EVERYTHING CURRENTLY HAPPENING IN OUR COUNTRY. The version of America the GOP sells is great and terrible, just like Oz. And just like Oz, the man running the show today is terrifyingly inept. If only he were impotent as well. (Referring to power, not his literal genitalia, because no one cares about that and also ew).

      Whoa, I ranted. I’m sorry. I know you all are with me. But how can anyone believe in American Exceptionalism at this stage in the game? There is literal documented proof of our failings all around us. This is the information age. There is no excuse for closing our eyes to this stuff. Closing our eyes to the current reality is the most fundamental way we can fail America. Cause, like, we CAN make America great, but that involves looking at our country close up, in the mirror, until we can’t stand it, and then changing the things we cannot accept.

      Ok I’m done 🙂

  3. ‘We believe the Constitution was written not as a flexible document, but as our enduring covenant.’ …Let me stop you at the word ‘covenant’ and tell you to get the fuck out of my politics immediately. It’s actually hard to read the damn thing and try to conceive of it as a document written in 2016.

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