“Freedom Means Freedom For Everyone”

GOP platform committee rejects gay marriage amendment.

GOP Platform Committee Rejects Marriage Equality, Supports Conversion Therapy

This week, the Republican National Committee is meeting to finalize its party platform—the document that will lay out the Republican Party’s vision for the future—and the GOP is showing few signs of trying to appeal to new voters. Instead, just weeks after the LGBT community was targeted in the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the Republican platform committee is further marginalizing LGBT people.

Yesterday, Washington D.C. delegate Rachel Hoff—the first openly gay member of the Republican Platform Committee—gave a moving speech asking the party to widen its view of marriage for same-sex couples by passing an amendment to “encourage and welcome a thoughtful conversation among Republicans” about the meaning of marriage.

“We are your daughters, your sons, your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues, the couple that sits next to you in church. And one day when I am ready to marry the woman I love, I hope it will be me. Freedom means freedom for everyone, including gays and lesbians. We should have the freedom to enter into relationships and receive the same protections as heterosexual couples,” Hoff said. “And all I ask today is to include me and those like me, and not exclude us, by simply acknowledging that thoughtful Republicans represent multiple views on the definition of marriage,” she added, holding back tears.

The platform committee was not moved by Hoff’s plea. Unlike other amendments before the full committee that got significant time for debate, Hoff’s amendment was immediately called up for a vote. It received only around 30 votes from the 112-member committee. The remaining delegates agreed to keep discriminatory language about marriage in the platform. Despite the fact that a majority of the platform committee refused even to welcome discussion of marriage equality, Hoff’s amendment may have received enough votes to be brought up again next week when all GOP delegates convene at the full convention.

After confirming opposition to marriage equality, the committee went on to adopt language, against all scientific evidence to the contrary, that children raised “in a traditional two-parent household” are better off than those raised by same-sex couples. The committee also shamefully approved language supporting forced “conversion therapy” for LGBT minors, deemed harmful by professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association. For more information on the problematic and damaging platform amendments read this.

On the other side of the aisle, the now-unified Democratic Party, made history with the most progressive platform ever on LGBT rights. This year’s platform is the first Democratic platform to ever use the word “transgender.” The platform also endorses federal nondiscrimination protections for the first time and commits to combatting LGBT homelessness and violence against the transgender community.

BOTTOM LINE: As Rachel Hoff said in her speech yesterday, “Freedom means freedom for everyone.” And by doubling down on anti-LGBT positions, GOP leaders have proven that they are only committed to protecting freedom for a select few.

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