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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 22, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 30
GOP platform turns back the clock on LGBT rights

Losers! Morons! Sad! say Log Cabin Republicans
Section One
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GOP platform turns back the clock on LGBT rights

Losers! Morons! Sad! say Log Cabin Republicans

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Republican National Convention will end up with its worst platform in history for the LGBT community, after delegates trying to remove anti-LGBT language threw in the towel July 18, acknowledging they lack the votes to force a floor fight.

Giovanni Cicione, a Rhode Island delegate circulating a petition to ditch the official platform and adopt a version without inflammatory anti-LGBT language, said that several delegates who had signed on to his alternative platform have withdrawn their support under pressure from party officials.

'There was a lot of pressure,' Mr. Cicione said in a July 18 interview. 'The RNC is not interested in having floor debates on anything this year. It's particularly tough given the fights over the rules and the nominee. This is not the year they want to be doing this.'

The next day, Log Cabin Republicans - the small remnant of LGBT folks who have not fled the GOP in disgust - placed an ad in USA Today proclaiming their party's convention 'Losers! Morons! Sad!'

'No, these aren't tweets from Donald Trump,' the ad continued. 'This is what common-sense conservatives are saying about the most anti-LGBT platform the Republican Party has ever had. GOP Platform Committee: Out of touch, out of line, and out of step with 61% of young Republicans who favor same-sex marriage.'

In a July 13 meeting the RNC Platform Committee systematically voted down every proposal that included the acronym LGBT and every one that made reference to 'gender,' 'race,' or 'religion' as a protected class.

At the same time, it passed statements supporting only opposite-sex marriage and conversion therapy. The committee also voted to bar Transgender people using gender-appropriate restrooms.

'Children have a natural right to be raised in an intact biological family,' the new GOP platform reads. The Platform Committee alleged - on no discernable evidence - that children raised by same-sex couples are at risk for drug abuse.

Younger delegates fought to strip anti-LGBT language from the platform, but they were consistently outvoted. They appealed to presumptive nominee Donald Trump to intervene, but to no effect.

New York delegate Annie Dickerson, who has been an advocate for LGBT rights since a Gay friend died decades ago, spearheaded the fight to amend the platform, proposing a number of pro-LGBT planks that were rejected.

Dickerson worried that anti-LGBT planks in the final platform, along with Trump's natural divisiveness, would drive away younger voters.

'It's a risk,' she told Dallas News reporters. 'But it's a risk this [platform] committee decided to take.'

Among those fighting the anti-LGBT language was Rachel Hoff, the first and only openly Lesbian member of the GOP Platform Committee.

'If you do support me and people like me, can you not at the very least stand up for our right to not be killed?' she asked during the debate.

Hoff had proposed a statement opposing the targeted killing of Gay people both at home and in places like Bangladesh and Iraq, where Gay men have been hacked to death, hanged in town squares, and thrown off buildings. Her proposal was voted down.

Also voted down was another proposal by Hoff that the party acknowledge that LGBT individuals, along with Christians, Jews and women 'in particular,' have been targeted by violence and oppression abroad.

'This is a deal-breaker issue for a lot of millennials,' Hoff said of the final anti-LGBT platform. 'This is a litmus test for young Republicans.'

Gregory Angelo, head of Log Cabin Republicans, later added, 'To say I'm disappointed is an understatement.'

'The platform committee is run by social conservatives with an agenda,' Angelo said, describing them as a 'peculiar breed' of people who can afford to take days off work and fly across the country to debate whether the party should use the word 'restroom' or 'bathroom.'

Tony Perkins, boss of the Family Research Council and a GOP delegate from Louisiana, said the Platform Committee represents the views of the majority of Republicans.

'These are people who have been involved in the party and have the confidence of their state parties, and they're sent here for this purpose,' Perkins said.

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GOP platform turns back the clock on LGBT rights

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