Alex Blaze

The Texas GOP cares about more than just banning marriage

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 21, 2010 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, ENDA, gay marriage, gays in the military, homophobic behavior, LGBT, lgbtq, marriage, queer, Texas, trans

The part of the Texas Republican Party's platform making its way around the blogosphere says they want to imprison people who participate in marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, even if those ceremonies have no legal meaning. It also calls for a return to sodomy laws, something that people thought was crazy to mention two years ago, but now is in a major party's platform:

Homosexuality - We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should "family" be redefined to include homosexual "couples." We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

Texas Sodomy Statutes - We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.

This all comes in, ironically, after pages of "freedom" and "no government interference" rhetoric. Everyone should be free to do only what these people want them to do.

Freedom-loving libertarians who just care about tax cuts haven't taken over the GOP; the party is the same as it ever was, with homophobia and transphobia laced into the platform. The other queer parts after the jump.

After a preamble that talks about how Texas is a beacon of freedom, they start in on the big ideas. This is number 6:

We Believe in[...] Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.

They worked both homophobia and transphobia in there (I'm guessing that's what "natural" refers to).

When it comes to Federalism, they start with ENDA:

Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.

Since they're concerned about Texas and the US turning to "Sharia Law" and reparations being paid out, it's not surprising that they're also paranoid about the vast homosexual conspiracy:

Family Values - We affirm that this section is a response to the attacks on traditional family values. These include well- funded, vigorous political and judicial attempts by powerful organizations and branches of the government to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior upon school children, parents, educational institutions, businesses, employees, government bodies and religious institutions and charities. These aggressive, intolerant efforts marginalize as bigots anyone who dissents.

It always strikes me as odd when I read these people describe the LGBT movement as "aggressive" and "powerful." Really? Because we don't seem that powerful from where I'm standing.

More on marriage:

Marriage and Divorce - We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that the integrity of this institution should be protected at all levels of government. We urge the Legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws. We support Covenant Marriage.

Marriage Licenses - We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.

They don't support gay adoption:

Adoption - We support reducing the time, bureaucratic interference and cost of adoption. The law should assure mothers of a choice in selecting a traditional home for their children at the time of terminating their rights for adoption. We oppose mandatory open adoption and adoption by homosexuals.

As well as visitation for gay parents (notice the comparison of homosexuality to child molestation? It's about as subtle as a cowbell):

Child Support and Visitation - We support equity between responsible parents in child support, custody, and visitation rights and costs, as well as the strengthening of laws designed to protect children from abuse. No parent/grandparent should be denied court ordered visitation, because of jurisdictional disputes between states. We also believe that no homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be prohibited but if ordered by the court limited to supervised periods.

They want there to be a database that anyone can access that lists people with HIV:

Medical Records Informed Consent - We oppose any state or federal medical record computer database or registry (with HIV and/or Tuberculosis), which stores personal identifiable records on citizens without their written consent. [...]

AIDS / HIV - We recognize that the preventable diseases of AIDS and HIV infection represent a threat to human health. We view with compassion all people infected with HIV. We call for appropriate levels of research to find a cure for the disease and ask that the government give full disclosure of the causes. However, because AIDS represents such a severe threat to both the health and economic well-being of our citizens, we insist that the epidemic be de-politicized and that as a society, we take all appropriate steps to protect our citizens from this epidemic. All people, no matter what disease they may contract, are worthy of deep respect as humans; however, behavior has personal and social consequences. We call upon the United States Public Health Service and all states to declare HIV a "dangerous, yet preventable, infectious, communicable disease." It should be legally reported in the same manner as any communicable disease. We oppose the needle exchange and bleach kit programs. We urge the return to the requirement of blood testing in order to obtain a marriage license with the previous reporting responsibilities to prevent the spread of dangerous, infectious, and communicable diseases.

That's a lot of words for a plank in this platform, I'm guessing because they didn't know how to come right out and say "put 'em all on an island and drop a bomb." They're good, caring Christians.

But in the very next plank, it's back to the gays:

Americans with Disabilities Act - We support amendment of the Americans with Disabilities Act to exclude from its definition those persons with infectious diseases, substance addiction, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, homosexual practices and mental stress, thereby reducing abuse of the Act.

Have we ever even argued a case under the ADA? Well, these are the people who thought it important enough to include a plank in their platform denouncing "One World Government Organizations."

Here we are in the education section:

Sex Education - We recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We support policies that mandate parental notification and consent before any sex education program is presented to their child. Parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until heterosexual marriage.

And the Boy Scouts:

Boy Scouts of America - We support the Boy Scouts of America and reject any attempt to undermine or fundamentally change the ideals of the organization.

They don't like hate crimes legislation, but if it can't be repealed, then just take the gays out. Trans people should still be protected:

Equality of All Citizens - We deplore all discrimination. We also deplore forced sensitivity training and urge repeal of any mandate requiring it. We urge immediate repeal of the Hate Crimes Law. Until the Hate Crimes Law is totally repealed, we urge the Legislature to immediately remove the education curriculum mandate and the sexual orientation category in said Law.

They had to remind you there that they "deplore all discrimination." Just in case you were thinking otherwise, what with the 100+ forms of discrimination they just advocated throughout.

Like discrimination in the military:

Support of Our Armed Forces - We encourage all Americans to support the brave and patriotic men and women of our armed forces. They should be paid a wage sufficient to prevent them from ever needing food stamps and that encourages retention. We strongly recommend that all our armed forces remain commanded only by the Commander-in-Chief and his subordinate commanders; upgrading, modernizing and maintaining the equipment, weapons, and vehicles for the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of our armed forces; the continuation of an all volunteer armed forces, the recruitment and advancement of military personnel based on the needs of the military and the qualifications of the person; disqualification of homosexuals from military service; immediate discharge of HIV positive individuals; separation of men and women in basic training; exclusion of women from ground and submarine combat roles; provision of full military honors for burial of veterans; restoration of all veteran benefits without an offset for disability pay; health and disability benefits equal to active military for national guard and reserves; passage of a "new" G.I Bill that fully funds expanded educational scholarship opportunities for honorably separated Veterans; restoration of full lifetime health benefits to retired military and their families; and assurance that military and civilian voters displaced by their service be afforded full opportunity for their votes to be counted; and the expeditious construction of a Veterans Museum in Texas. We oppose the repeal of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Hating gays is all throughout this document, and it's about more than just marriage or any specific issue, really. These folks are still as obsessed with buttsex as they ever were, no matter what they like to say about them being all about cutting social spending.

The only two issues that are more important in the document are restricting women's autonomy and the biggie, making life worse for undocumented workers (as well as for people related to them). Sure, there's a lot about reducing spending, like cutting Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare (wasn't it fun to hear Republicans during the health care reform debate shedding crocodile tears for Medicare?), but also plenty about increasing spending - specifically on policing and the military. These folks don't really get even basic, high school economics, so it's hard for me to believe that they're at all seriously concerned with our nation's finances and not just using it as a proxy for racism and class warfare.

And it's incoherent as ever. Reduce spending, but not on programs we like. Return to the Constitution, except for the parts we don't like. Improve education, but we're going to be ignorant and misinformed.

The biggest incoherence, though: increase freedom, except for people we don't like.


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On the bright side, the nasty rhetoric springing forth from newly-revised GOP platforms will hopefully have the upside of disenfranchising the middle. Early analysis indicates that the GOP is gearing up to shoot itself in the foot; the extreme-right Tea party, brought to a frothing, boiling mess by astroturfing consultants (http://biggovernment.com/publius/2010/06/16/playboy-confessions-of-a-tea-party-consultant/), is creating a hostile GOP platform.

In any case: this platform gives me an even better reason to never, ever go to Texas.

Maybe in the short term, but I doubt it long-term. The Democratic Party is already further to the right than Nixon was, and that happened mostly because the Republican Party got crazier and crazier and followed them off the cliff.

Something tells me that Democrats are spineless enough to try to incorporate half this stuff into their politics, further disenfranchising the middle.

If you refuse to go any place where stupid bigots live, your world must be awfully small.

I think there's a significant difference between bigotry of a citizenry and enshrining said bigotry in a political party platform, and that difference is enough to remove a state from my "would love to tour" list. My home state Indiana has bigots, yes, but at least there's enough small-government mentality to spark a live-and-let-live mentality among enough citizens to staunch the flow of far-right social conservatism.

Didn't the supreme court just tell texas that they couldn't ban sodomy? Like just a few years back?

their position on HIV is also bizarre. They "insist that the epidemic be de–politicized" and then they come out strongly against needle exchange which has been scientifically proven to be one of the most effective prevention methods:

"AIDS / HIV – We recognize that the preventable diseases of AIDS and HIV infection represent a threat to human health. We view with compassion all people infected with HIV. We call for appropriate levels of research to find a cure for the disease and ask that the government give full disclosure of the causes. However, because AIDS represents such a severe threat to both the health and economic well–being of our citizens, we insist that the epidemic be de–politicized and that as a society, we take all appropriate steps to protect our citizens from this epidemic. All people, no matter what disease they may contract, are worthy of deep respect as humans; however, behavior has personal and social consequences. We call upon the United States Public Health Service and all states to declare HIV a “dangerous, yet preventable, infectious, communicable disease.” It should be legally reported in the same manner as any communicable disease. We oppose the needle exchange and bleach kit programs. We urge the return to the requirement of blood testing in order to obtain a marriage license with the previous reporting responsibilities to prevent the spread of dangerous, infectious, and communicable diseases."

more highlights here:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/notes/susan-forrest/highlights-of-the-texas-state-republican-2010-platform/435521918687

download the entire platform here:
http://static.texastribune.org/media/documents/FINAL_2010_STATE_REPUBLICAN_PARTY_PLATFORM.pdf

I know - let's depoliticize something by putting it right in a political party's platform!

Brenda Allen | June 21, 2010 12:23 PM

Did I just wake up in 1930's Germany? Bring it on, Texas GOP! I'll save you the effort of stitching a pink triangle on my clothing and just go ahead and tatoo it on my own forehead!!!!!!!!!

I've been here almost 60 years and this is the most backward pile of crap I've ever heard of.

Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin and Jesus himself are ashamed of the people who wrote this platform.

Prejudice is always rooted in ignorance. The Cycle of fear and ignorance is always the driving force behind this kind of political agenda. They are hoping to gain momentum with all of those afraid out there of what they don't understand. This will only work until the generations of those who are not plugged in and informed are still alive. As they die out this rhetoric will do more to drive them into a minority position of hate mongering that the middle is going to start tolerating less and less. Our best weapon out there is to continue to speak out and educate those with lingering fear that there is nothing insidious or evil about homosexuals. By getting more and more educated and speaking out we will pluck the very weapon from their hands they are still able to use... ignorance.

Larry
Torquere Press Inc.
LGBT Romance

And don't forget all the shenanigans surrounding the school text books too.

cafurrball | June 21, 2010 9:55 PM

I find it ironic that - in a state that has such a large artistic/gay/academic community concentrated in one city, namely Austin - the GOP would want to disenfranchise ANYONE. Or, is it that they just don't consider Austin to be a part of Texas, rather a floating island of liberalism in a vast sea of conservativism?

Hopefully, the moderates will clip the tails of the rabid Republicans and bring them to heel. Yet, then again, seeing how things are turning toward conservative thought, I doubt the GOP will be able to rein in their more exuberant members.

If Rick Perry and the other Republicans want to talk Texans into defecting from the USA, maybe Austin ought to just defect from Texas. For a city and state that seems just "hungry" for tourist dollars, you would think SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE would at least TRY to talk some sense into these folks.

Then again, maybe not. With rhetoric like this, I would venture a guess and say the Texas GOP don't seem to want ANYONE's tourist dollars.

Arizona doesn't seem QUITE so far to the right as they did, earlier today. With this rhetoric, at least the Arizona lawmakers have some competition!

The Texas GOP has been putting anti-gay items in its platform for the last 15 years or so and each platform has been worse than the one before.

But what can one expect from a political party that has Christian Nation historic revisionist David Barton as a vice-president?

BayCityJohn | June 22, 2010 3:36 AM

This is not a new platform.

It's all been in the party's platform for several years now.

Here's a copy of the 2004 platform. See page 10.


http://www.yuricareport.com/GOPorganizations/TexasRPTPlatform2004.pdf

Really they don't support visitation of gay parents. I guess they didn't get the memo that Texas has the highest percentage of gay parents in the Nation. WTF family values my ass.

"The biggest incoherence, though: increase freedom, except for people we don't like."

It's not incoherent- these people simply want the freedom to take away our own. What they mean by freedom is their freedom to run our lives and rule our country. This is fascism and it must be stopped now! The Democrats aren't up to it, we're going to have to make our own party to get the message out that this hatred and violence must stop now! There are more of us- blacks, immigrants, LGBTs, women, Jews, minorities of all stripes, than there are of them, and we must remind them of that fact NOW!

The quickest way to do this is to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because when our country is in a perpetual state of war, our civil liberties go by the wayside. The real fight for freedom and security is here in America.

They believe in the sanctity of marriage, but yet they have that song " All My Ex's Live in Texas."
Of course, we all know Barton is a part of this platform which says a lot right there.

Speaking only personally, as an educated, transgendered Canadian and viewing such manifestos as dark but distant storms on the Canadian political horizon, I can only think these are people too long in the sun without hats and water.

I don't think it overstates to say that these are the thoughts and principals of nascent fascists.

Canada is far from perfect and Stephen Harper our Prime Minister (read 'President') with growing hubris is trying to drag us toward the 'sanctioned hate' of Evangelical Protestantism.

Where and why does such paranoia and hate originate?