Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Texas Republicans

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Jul 7, 2010

The Texas Republican Party has a plank in this year's platform that explicitly demands the criminalization of "sodomy" and the arrest of anyone who unites a same-sex couple in matrimony. The plank also demands a ban on adoption by gay couples,

Family Values – We affirm that this section is a response to the attacks on traditional family values. These include wellfunded, vigorous political and judicial attempts by powerful organizations and branches of the government to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior upon school children, parents, educational institutions, businesses, employees, government bodies and religious institutions and charities. These aggressive, intolerant efforts marginalize as bigots anyone who dissents. ...
Marriage Licenses – We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.
Homosexuality – We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the
fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable 'alternative' lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should 'family' be redefined to include homosexual 'couples.' We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant
special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil
penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.
Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.

Clearly, the Texas Republican "Party" has some serious antigay bigotry going on, even as they seek to deny any bigotry exists.

The Log Cabin Republicans have pooh-poohed concerns over the homophobes who control their party:
"I could go on and on about the platform writing process, how it's controlled by the extremists of our party, and how the old guard scheduled the Texas Republican Convention to make it difficult to have honest debate on the floor.
"What is more important is to understand the real impact the platform has on Republican legislative priorities.
"The fact is, Hardy Haberman is absolutely wrong in believing the platform is used as a litmus test for candidate recruitment and that it’s the basis for legislative decisions."
-- Rob Schlein, president of Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas.

Mr. Schlein's efforts to distance himself and the LCRoD from the Republican party -- even to distance the Texas Republican Party from its own platform -- reminded me of an old joke -- well, at least as old as the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies. Thus, this week's cartoon.

Incidentally, Texas's 1860 anti-sodomy law was overturned in 2003 by the landmark Supreme Court decision Lawrence et al. v. Texas. The court found that two men arrested in their own home by Houston police (responding to an unfriendly neighbor's complaint) were not committing a crime and that the law was an unconstitutional intrusion into the private conduct of citizens.

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