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July 21, 2016: RNC Platform — A Scary Read

July 21, 2016

Wanna read something really scary? Take a look at the Republican National Convention’s 2016 platform that was released earlier this week. I didn’t read the entire 66-page, ultra-conservative document, but I skimmed it and stopped to read what it says about LGBTQ rights. I also read several articles and analyses of it, including this New York Times article, which was published the week before the official platform was ratified, and this Raw Story article, which summarizes 50 of the planks (10, 11 and 41 specifically address LGBTQ issues). There’s even language in the platform that calls for prohibiting transgender people from using school restrooms that correspond with their gender identities. (Here’s a Yahoo.com article that delves into that issue.)

Although most of the planks don’t have any scientific backing (in fact, there is strong evidence that refutes them), if they were acted on, it would plunge the LGBTQ community back into the pre-Stonewall Inn era of oppression and even criminalization. LGBTQ couples would not have the constitutional right to marry; and unless the states where they live allow it, they would be shut out of that right. And even though California and other states allow same-sex marriage, a constitutional ban would leave the door wide open for lawsuits challenging those rights, any of which could reach what could become a very conservative Supreme Court.

That brings me to other planks of the platform, one of which calls for the appointment of Supreme Court Justices that espouse “traditional family values.” I have nothing against family values; they are an important part of our society. It’s the “traditional” part I’m wary of. Coupled with planks that call for required teaching of the Bible in public schools and requiring lawmakers to use the Bible when legislating, “traditional family values” isn’t a phrase that bodes well for the LGBTQ community.

I don’t have anything against the Bible, either. It’s full of stories that offer great life lessons — like “love your neighbor as yourself,” and “judge not lest ye be judged.” But when people interpret it in a way that they say justifies hatred and discrimination, which in turn leads to laws that strip human beings of dignity, civil rights and human rights, that’s what I call blasphemy.

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