The GOP’s proposed national platform is extremely transphobic

The GOP’s proposed national platform is extremely transphobic

LGBTQ Entertainment News

Donald Trump addresses his supporters during a campaign rally on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Donald Trump addresses his supporters during a campaign rally on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin Photo: Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has adopted former President Donald Trump’s platform for the Republican Party. The new platform removes the party’s opposition to same-sex marriage — though conservatives have signaled that they’d like to overturn it — and also softens conservative opposition to abortion and in vitro fertilization (IVF), two issues that Republicans worry could hurt them in the November election.

The platform’s anti-transgender goals, numbered 16 and 17 among its 20 goals, are stated thus: “Cut federal funding for any school pushing critical race theory, radical gender ideology, and other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content on our children,” and “Keep men out of women’s sports.”

Chapter 9, Section 5 of the platform promises to “end Left-wing gender insanity,” stating, “We will keep men out of women’s sports, ban Taxpayer funding for sex change surgeries, and stop Taxpayer-funded Schools from promoting gender transition, reverse Biden’s radical rewrite of Title IX Education Regulations, and restore protections for women and girls.”

A Trump-appointed federal judge recently blocked Biden’s Title IX protections requiring schools to allow trans students to use the names, pronouns, and facilities matching their gender identity. Numerous Republican attorneys general sued over the protections. The platform’s promise to “restore protections for women and girls” echoes right-wing claims that trans people are a danger to both groups.

The platform also echoes the Republican opposition to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts in schools by promising to “expose politicized education models.” The platform also promises to “restore Parental Rights in Education”, a dog whistle for opposition to anti-racist and LGBTQ+-inclusive education. Anti-LGBTQ+ groups like Moms for Liberty and Leave Our Kids Alone have functioned under the banner of “parents’ rights.”

“We trust Parents’ Knowledge and Skills, Not CRT [critical race theory] and Gender Indoctrination,” the platform states. “Republicans will ensure children are taught fundamentals like Reading, History, Science, and Math, not Leftwing propaganda. We will defund schools that engage in inappropriate political indoctrination of our children using Federal Taxpayer Dollars.”

As for higher education, the platform promises to “fire Radical Left accreditors … restore Due Process protections, and pursue Civil Rights cases against Schools that discriminate.” The line about accreditors may refer to the College Board, an organization that gives high school students a chance to pre-earn college credits through Advanced Placement (AP) tests. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) publicly criticized the board last year and tried to get it to drop AP test questions on racial justice movements and queer theory — he failed.

The platform repeatedly mentions that Leftists should be removed from government. It also promises, “Republicans will use existing Federal Law to keep foreign Christian-hating Communists, Marxists, and Socialists out of America. Those who join our Country must love our Country. We will use extreme vetting to ensure that jihadists and jihadist sympathizers are not admitted.”

The platform additionally promises to stop the “invasion” of immigrants by conducting the “largest deportation program in American history,” and to reinstate Trump’s infamous travel ban against travelers from countries with Muslim majorities.

The GOP platform’s stances on same-sex marriage, abortion, and IVF

While the platform removes Republicans’ decades-long opposition to same-sex marriage, Chapter 8, Section 1 of the platform says, “Republicans will promote a Culture that values the Sanctity of Marriage, the blessings of childhood, the foundational role of families, and supports working parents. We will end policies that punish families.”

The “sanctity of marriage” is a phrase that has sometimes been used as a dog whistle for heterosexual marriage (that is, marriages that are sanctioned by conservative and evangelical churches). Also, the platform’s section on religious liberty (Chapter 9, Section 3) promises legal protections for Christians who discriminate against LGBTQ+ couples and individuals.

“We are the defenders of the First Amendment Right to Religious Liberty. It protects the Right not only to Worship according to the dictates of Conscience, but also to act in accordance with those Beliefs, not just in places of Worship, but in everyday life,” the section reads. “Our ranks include men and women from every Faith and Tradition, and we respect the Right of every American to follow his or her deeply held Beliefs. To protect Religious Liberty, Republicans support a new Federal Task Force on Fighting Anti-Christian Bias that will investigate all forms of illegal discrimination, harassment, and persecution against Christians in America.”

The platform also softens language around Republican opposition to abortion and IVF, a conception method that many same-sex couples use to birth children. To date, three states — Missouri, Alabama, and Georgia — have laws that grant personhood to fertilized embryos, and a dozen other states have introduced legislation this year that would legally declare embryos as people.

Such designations would mean that the discarding of any unused fertilized embryos by IVF clinics would qualify as murder. Republicans worry that such extreme laws could bring more pro-choice Democratic voters to the polls in the 2024 general elections.

“We proudly stand for families and life,” the platform states. “We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied life or liberty without due process and that the states are, therefore, free to pass laws protecting those rights. After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the states and to a vote of the people. We will oppose late-term abortion while supporting mothers and policies that advance prenatal care, access to birth control, and IVF (fertility treatments).”

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, voters in seven states have supported ballot measures strengthening abortion access, even in conservative states like Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio. Similar measures will be on the November ballots in Colorado, Florida, Maryland, and South Dakota, all of which could help bring out Democratic voters to oppose Trump and other Republican candidates.

It remains to be seen how religious conservatives and anti-abortion groups respond to the GOP platform. The Republican Party will vote on whether to officially adopt the new platform at its upcoming national convention this month.

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