Republicans for gay equality, choice urge an inclusive GOP platform
A coalition of advocates from women’s rights and gay rights organizations urged the Republican Party platform committee to bring an inclusive and moderate document to the convention.
The Republican Party Committee on Resolutions aka the platform committee has been meeting in Tampa, Fla., to finalize a draft to present to delegates at the national convention next week.
Reports this week indicate that the proposed platform will reflect the influence of the Christian right and contain a call for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and a vigorous defense of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.
Responding, R. Clarke Cooper of the Log Cabin Republicans, said, “The obsessive exclusion of gay couples, including military families, from the rights and responsibilities of marriage, combined with bizarre rhetoric about ‘hate campaigns’ and ‘the homosexual rights agenda’ are clear signs of desperation among social conservatives who know that public opinion is rapidly turning in favor of equality.”
Reports also indicate that the platform will call for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion.
Representatives from several advocacy groups cautioned the committee against drafting a platform limited to one, faith-based viewpoint – that of the Christian right.
The call came from officials with Republicans for Choice, Catholics for Choice, the Log Cabin Republicans and the National Council of Jewish Women.
Republicans for Choice released data on Aug. 22 showing that views on access to reproductive health care including contraception and abortion are not at all universal for those aligned with the Republican Party.
In a broad poll, when asked “Regardless of your personal view on abortion, who do you think should make the decision on whether or not to have an abortion, a woman or her government?” nearly 80 percent of those who identified as Republicans agreed strongly that the decision should be made by a woman.
Also, 70 percent of those who identified as pro-life said that they agree strongly the decision should be made by a woman and not the government.
“Republicans in good faith don’t use faith to discriminate. They recognize the hypocrisy of advocating government get out of the boardroom but not the bedroom. They understand as well that they need to welcome and embrace voters of all religious persuasions, not just the few who have dominated the discussions in the recent past,” said Ann Stone, national chairman of Republicans for Choice.
Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said, “Polls done across the political spectrum show the majority of Republicans, like the majority of Americans, do not agree that abortion should be illegal. It’s important that the current leadership of the party is challenged to better reflect the views of GOP voters — which are overwhelmingly pro-choice. Too many in the current leadership have been convinced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that recent advances in the provision of family planning are an attack on religious freedom. This is completely bogus.”
LCR programs director Casey Pick added, “A true commitment to the values of freedom, religious liberty and individual conscience should guide our party to embrace a broader range of opinion on these deeply personal subjects. The GOP’s ideological diversity is a strength to be embraced.”
“Any discussion about access to abortion needs to begin with protecting women’s health,” said Nancy K. Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women. “Instead, we have here a presumption that one religious view of conception and abortion can and should be imposed on everyone. As challenges to women’s access to abortion continue, we must remember what is truly at stake, lest we risk losing this war of attrition on women’s health and rights.”
This article was originally published by the Wisconsin Gazette.