A member of the conservative LGBT group Log Cabin Republicans, which is taking part in the GOP’s platform drafting process for the first time, has confirmed that the Republican Party will address the Defense of Marriage Act and other anti-marriage-equality measures in its 2012 platform.
According to The Advocate, Casey Pick, programs director of the Log Cabin Republicans and a member of the group’s delegation to the platform committee, said measures affirming traditional marriage are to be expected.
“You’re still going to see stuff on the federal amendment,” Pick said. “You’re going to see stuff affirming DOMA.”
The Republican Party’s 2008 platform also endorsed DOMA and a federal amendment banning same-sex marriage, as well as “the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.” Both Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney and his Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan oppose same-sex marriage.
Earlier this month, a group called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry sent a letter to the Republican National Committee Platform Committee asking that it not adopt anti-marriage-equality views in the platform. The letter cited the public’s increasing support of same-sex marriage and said restricting the freedom to marry contradicted Republican principles.
“Giving people more personal freedom is the foundation of the Republican Party,” states the letter. “We feel strongly that excluding committed same-sex couples from marriage does not mesh with those principles.”
The GOP’s decision stands in stark contrast to a move the Democratic Party made earlier this month. At a platform committee meeting in Detroit, Democrats unanimously approved draft language for their platform in support of marriage equality, keeping in line with President Obama’s recent announcement endorsing same-sex marriage.
“The 14th Amendment is very clear — equal protection under the law,” said the platform committee co-chairman and mayor of Newark, N.J., Cory Booker. “We as a party have really embraced the president’s ideas.”
According to Buzzfeed reporter Chris Geidner, Republicans don’t see their soon-to-be-updated platform as anti-equality. A subcommittee of the Republican drafting committee passed language Monday that reads, “We embrace the principle that all Americans have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.” According to Geidner and Log Cabin Republicans executive direction R. Clarke Cooper, this was intended to be “a positive nod” in the direction of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
But not everybody sees it that way. In response to Cooper, Jerame Davis, head of National Stonewall Democrats, told Buzzfeed: “The idea that this generic bit of meaningless rhetoric is movement by the GOP toward a more inclusive and pro-equality footing is preposterous. … The Republican Party platform has included similar language since at least 1996. This is just a rewording of a generic principle that few Republicans would construe to include LGBT equality.”
Camille Beredjick is a journalism student at Northwestern University and the founder and sole contributor of GayWrites.org, a daily LGBT news blog.