Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Platform and Minority Report, Part II

This is part II of our discussion of the Platform and Minority Report, from the Texas State Republican Convention. There will be four parts total (I’m doing them on consecutive days. So, part I was yesterday. Here are the subjects in order:

·         Part I: Cannabis 
·         Part II: Marriage, Homosexuality, and Other LGBTQ Issues
·         Part III: School Choice
·         Part IV: The Minority Report

Marriage, Homosexuality, and other LGBTQ Issues

Another issue that occupied a lot of testimony time at the convention was homosexuality. Those issues ended up mainly in State Affairs. The main concern, since the Obergefell ruling, is about religious freedom, balancing that with tolerance. The 2016 plank said this:

Homosexuality: Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nation’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples.  We oppose the granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.  We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.  
There was a rewrite, hotly debated, that lasted until a compromise, late Thursday evening, which became acceptable to all, containing many of these same ideas (I’ve highlighted in both where the words are identical):

Homosexual Behavior: We affirm God’s biblical design for marriage and sexual behavior between one biological man and one biological woman, which has proven to be the foundation for all great nations in Western civilization. We oppose homosexual marriage, regardless of state of origin. We urge the Texas Legislature to pass religious liberty protections for individuals, businesses, and government officials who believe marriage is between one man and one woman. We oppose the granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

The changes take a bit of concentration to discern. While God and Bible are cited in both, the new plank is more about affirming marriage, rather than condemning the sinfulness of homosexuality, which may make it less controversial while still concentrating on what we want to accomplish: protect marriage, and protect religion freedom. I like the connection of marriage to civilization; that's part of the Spherical Model formula for civilization.

That's us, in front of the Civilization wall
in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

The testimony against the plank was mainly of the variety that homosexuality ought to be seen as just another acceptable lifestyle choice. That is definitely not the view of the Republican Party of Texas. It is gaining ground with younger people, mainly because of the indoctrination from media and academia—along with their inherent (but maybe not obvious) anti-religious bias.

During testimony during the Permanent Platform Committee, on Thursday afternoon/evening of the convention, there was a particular pro-homosexuality witness who was called back for a question by an older woman on the committee. The witness was flippant. The committee member took offense at that. And there was a rather unpleasant interchange that got terminated as not really questioning the witness, so it should be saved for committee discussion later.

Over time, it’s been my observation that Log Cabin Republicans, who agree with Republicans on 90% of issues, and just diverge on these particular social issues, have generally been good members of the party, agreeing to disagree without being disagreeable. I hope that attitude can continue.

There were several other planks that are related more specifically to defense of marriage—which is the appropriate way to look at the position of Republicans generally. It is not about hate; it is about preserving marriage in order to preserve civilization. Here are some of the additional planks:

Definition of Marriage: We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal, and moral commitment only between one natural man and one natural woman.
State Authority over Marriage: We support withholding jurisdiction from the federal courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.
Spousal Benefits: We shall not recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse, including granting benefits by political subdivisions.
No-Fault Divorce: We urge the Legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws and support covenant marriage.
Overturn Unconstitutional Ruling: We believe this decision, overturning the Texas law prohibiting same-sex marriage in Texas, has no basis in the Constitution and should be reversed, returning jurisdiction over the definition of marriage to the states. The Governor and other elected officials of the State of Texas should assert our Tenth Amendment right and reject the Supreme Court ruling.

There are additional LGBTQ issues, mainly related to transgender indoctrination:

Gender Identity Facilities in Businesses: We support enacting legislation in the State of Texas ensuring that no government entity in the state be allowed to take it upon itself to define for any private business or private entity how it must segregate its restrooms, changing facilities, or showers; nor may any government agency be allowed to require businesses to profess, espouse, or adopt specific views on sex, sexuality, gender, or gender identity, other than to guarantee that views and positions on these matters are not used as a basis to deny access to public accommodations, as defined by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, nor to deny employment, or discriminate in employment decisions, solely on the basis of a person’s views on these matters.
Child Rights: We call on the Texas Legislature to pass legislation to protect privacy in public schools and government buildings as allowed by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, by ensuring that multi-use facilities, including showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms, are designated for and used only by persons based on the person’s biological sex.
No Sexuality Indoctrination: We call on the State Legislature to pass legislation so that no public school or other educational institution may force, require, or pressure any child or student to profess, espouse, or adopt, or otherwise be indoctrinated without explicit parental consent, specific views on sex, sexuality, gender, or gender identity.
Gender Identity Pronouns: We oppose any attempt to criminalize and/or penalize anyone for the wrong use of pronouns.

The opposition will call these hateful. But we resist nonetheless. Because, while we’re quite willing to be tolerant, we’re not willing to give up our freedom, privacy, safety, or beliefs just to avoid being called hateful, homophobic, and bigoted. And we all know they’ll call us that regardless of reality, so it’s just better, always, to stand for truth.

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