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RLC EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER FAULTS IN GOP PLATFORM
The party platform of the Republican Party of Texas is intended to be an expression of the of the common beliefs of its members. It expresses principles with which most Republicans can agree and on which candidates can run for office. It is a blueprint for party success for the next two years.
The platform adopted by the Republican Party of Texas this weekend has many bright points in it, but, in the end, debate bogged down over immigration with the result that other issues were not addressed at all or subject to hasty changes which were not sufficiently considered.
A longstanding problem in the platform has been hostile language to gay Republicans. Despite success in an early draft, the version that went into the final session was polarizing and included an endorsement of “reparative therapy,” a dubious form of treatment that the American Psychiatric Association finds no evidence to support.”
Summer Wise, a convention delegate from Travis County, noted that issues related to homosexuality and marijuana legislation split largely generationally, and the new platform alienates young voters who are disenchanted with the Democrats and looking for another option. “We’re frittering away the largest voting bloc we might hope to win over,” Wise said.
Another problem was the endorsement for Medical Marijuana. It passed a very close vote to be included in the initial draft of the platform, but social conservatives overrode the grassroots votes and got it deleted and even went on to add language opposing marijuana research.
As RLC Chairman Jeffrey A. Larson commented, “At the Republican Liberty Caucus, we believe that a 21st century Republican Party cannot afford to alienate conservative voters, and that a party of compassion does not let sick children suffer because we are afraid that some may abuse their medicine.”
This platform contains missed opportunities. Although we had a chance to moderate the Party’s position on homosexuality and take a stand in favor of medical marijuana, we were out shouted by a vocal, extremist minority. This platform will make outreach more difficult at a time when the party desperately needs new blood.
We wish to thank the hardworking activists of the Log Cabin Republicans and Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition and look forward to working with them towards a more inclusive Republican party.