GOP Platform Committee Rejects Endorsement Of Civil Unions

The effort to put a plank supporting civil unions for same-sex couples in the GOP platform has been soundly rejected:

TAMPA, Florida — The GOP platform committee overwhelmingly voted down an effort to include recognitions of civil unions in the party’s manifesto.

The measure, offered by Rhode Island delegate Barbara Fenton and seconded by Connecticut’s Themis Klarides, was rejected by the full committee in a voice vote, as a large number of members stoof up to oppose the potential plank.

Fenton argued that the country was founded on the the principle of the separation of church and state, and thus government should allow for civil unions as different faiths use their own definitions of marriage for their purposes.

“This would move us away from the benefits that marriage extends to a society,” objected Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council and a Louisiana delegate.

As Dave Weigel explains, the effort to get the amendment passed, while admirable, was doomed from the start:

A plank like this had been debated in subcommittees and shot down in flames. But a Ron Paul delegate from Rhode Island brought it back from the scrap heap, telling fellow delegates that “for people of my generation,” gay rights were an obvious good. Her suggested text, which would have put the GOP on record for separating marriage from religion, is posted above.

But like I said: Doomed. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins took the microphone to explain that “government extends benefits to marriage because marriage benefits society.” His fellow Republicans surely knew that.

“We recognize nature, we recognize history,” he said. “This would move the party away immensely from the position this party has held.”

This comes at a time when polls are showing that only one-third of Americans support the idea that same-sex couples are not entitled to any legal recognition whatsoever.

And yet, the GOP continues to have its head in the sand. Indeed, during the debate on this Amendment, an adviser to Mitt Romney compared homosexuality to drug use:

During a Tuesday morning meeting of the Republican National National Convention Platform, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach expressed his opposition to a platform amendment that would have allowed for “civil unions” by likening homosexuality to drug use and polygamy.

A Nevada RNC delegate argued in favor of the amendment on behalf of a young conservative group, stating that “the freedom to marry is in line with our core belief in limited government and individual freedom. To quote former Vice President Dick Cheney,’Freedom means freedom for everyone.'”

She continued on to warn that the exclusion of pro-gay marriage views from the Republican Party platform could alienate younger conservatives who might be tempted to leave the party: “They are Republicans, and they should not be condemned for their desire to have civil unions. And as had been said in many pages here about a union being the best environment in which to raise children, a couple union, these people also deserve to raise children as a couple.”

Kobach, an advisor to Mitt Romney on immigration policy, took to the mic to rebuke the woman’s claims:

“I oppose this amendment, I think the wording is too broad. Especially the last sentence: ‘As long as there are no infringements on the rights of others, It is not the role of government to judge.’ Well, our government routinely judges situations where you might regard people completely affecting themselves like, for example, the use of controlled substances, like, for example, polygamy that is voluntarily entered into. We condemn those activities even though they’re not hurting other people, at least directly.”

And right there Kobach explained, in a nutshell, the mainstream Republican worldview that has alienated libertarians for many years.

Indeed. The GOP is going to come to regret this someday, and that day is fast approaching.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    No surprise here. They oppose Gay Marriage completely – both in the religious realm and in the civil realm.

    Gay marriage, Zero tolerance for abortion, restriction on a woman’s right to control her reproductive choices – It sure seems that Republicans are doubling down on social issues …. again.

  2. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Remember when “well-meaning” Republicans would argue that civil unions were the answer, because the only real problem was gays trying to co-opt the word “marriage?” Basically, the Party has actually regressed since 2004.

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Apparently they still haven’t gotten the memo that it’s all about the stupidity, economy. But that’s not at all surprising. Politically speaking they can be as slow as Cliff Robertson’s character in “Charly.”

  4. @Gromitt Gunn:

    Interestingly enough, the convention Keynote Speaker is Governor of a state where civil unions are legal (and, yes, he supports them)

  5. bill says:

    maybe there’s more important things going on in the country that don’t revolve around abortion/same sex marriage and free birth control? we are still in economic purgatory and 2/3’s of our leadership has no answer as usual. is it really responsible to pass our debt down to our children and grandchildren? I don’t think so.

  6. superdestroyer says:

    Does anyone really believe thtat giving homosexuals whatever they want would get the Republicans one more vote. Homosexuals are one of the most liberal groups in the U.S.

    Any concession the Republicans give to homosexuals just makes liberals stronger. Maybe in the Ron Paul supporters would have supported a blank that would have prevented the government from asking anyone about their sexual orientation and prevented the government from giving 8A set asides to homosexuals, they would have won a few more converts.

  7. superdestroyer says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    As that is why Christie will probably be voted out of office in his next election and has no future at the national level. Chrisitie gives government goodies to groups that hate him and will never vote for him.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    maybe there’s more important things going on in the country that don’t revolve around abortion/same sex marriage and free birth control?

    Tell that to the GOP…

    is it really responsible to pass our debt down to our children and grandchildren?

    That has been going on for over 30 years…I assume it was just as irresponsible in the 80s as it is now…

  9. Ben says:

    @superdestroyer:

    So you should only support something if it will win you votes? You just can’t conceive of any situation in which you do something just because it’s the right thing to do, can you? You know, like giving a group of people rights that everyone else already enjoys?

  10. superdestroyer says:

    @Ben:

    Giving more political power to liberal homosexuals should not be given away for free by Republicans. The Republicans should get something in the horse trading. That is how LBJ operated while in Congress and while president.

    Why give something away for free when there is something to be gain. What should homosexuals object if the government is not allowed to give them special benefits (that they claim that they do not want) or that the government does not ask people their sexual orientation.

    Why not force homosexuals to make concessions now instead of trying to fight a huge political fight when homosexual start pushing for 8A disadvantage status with all of the government goodies that comes with it?

  11. Rob in CT says:

    This nonsense about gay people being automatically liberal is… nonsense. They’re liberal because the “conservative” party spends a great deal of its time telling them how awful they are and denying them civil rights.

    There is no reason to believe that gay Americans are especially inclined toward what we could broadly call economic liberalism. Being gay doesn’t make you automatically inclined to want to use tax dollars to feed the poor, etc. Right now, there may be a connection, because one group that gets shat upon by Republicans may feel affinity for another group being shat upon by Republicans. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Well, if the GOP wasn’t anti-gay, what exactly would cause gay Americans to stay Democrats?

    The issue here isn’t the impossibility of picking up gay votes. The issue is the certainty of LOSING bigot votes.

  12. Loviatar says:

    @Rob in CT:

    This nonsense about gay people being automatically liberal is… nonsense. They’re liberal because the “conservative” party spends a great deal of its time telling them how awful they are and denying them civil rights.

    —–

    African Americans

    This nonsense about African Americans people being automatically liberal is… nonsense. They’re liberal because the “conservative” party spends a great deal of its time telling them how awful they are and denying them civil rights.

    —–

    Hispanic

    This nonsense about Hispanic people being automatically liberal is… nonsense. They’re liberal because the “conservative” party spends a great deal of its time telling them how awful they are and denying them civil rights.

    —–

    Women

    This nonsense about Women being automatically liberal is… nonsense. They’re liberal because the “conservative” party spends a great deal of its time telling them how awful they are and denying them civil rights.

    —–

    Young People

    This nonsense about Young People being automatically liberal is… nonsense. They’re liberal because the “conservative” party spends a great deal of its time telling them how awful they are and denying them civil rights.
    .

    etc., etc., etc.

    ===============

    Your paragraph applies to any group that does not predominantly consist of white men.

  13. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Interestingly enough, the convention Keynote Speaker is Governor of a state where civil unions are legal (and, yes, he supports them)

    I guess we know what topic won’t be part of his speech.

  14. grumpy realist says:

    Well, so what keeps the Log Cabin Republicans of having more than zero members? Battered spouse syndrome? Or simple self-hatred?.

  15. mantis says:

    Well, so what keeps the Log Cabin Republicans of having more than zero members?

    They have money, and will sell their souls to keep as much of it from being taxed as possible.

  16. swbarnes2 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Interestingly enough, the convention Keynote Speaker is Governor of a state where civil unions are legal (and, yes, he supports them)

    Or, you could say he opposes gay marriage, and is at the same place where liberals were on this position a decade ago.

    And let’s just remind ourselves what supporting civil unions really menas:

    “But when Weiss explained who he was, and said that he and Grant had a civil union in New Jersey that effectively gave them the same status as a married couple, the response from Grant’s emergency room doctor was, “What is that?”

    So congratulations Doug, that’s what the socially advanced members of your Republican party support. And when you vote for Republicans, you don’t even support that.

    And guess who the Republican platform committe chair is? Guess who is one of the people most directly responsible for that plank being an offical part of Republican policy is? Bob McDonnell, the governor of Virginia, the guy you had “no regrets” for voting for, of course.

  17. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Being involved in the dominant homosexual culture of the U.S. makes a homosexual a liberal.. Think of homosexual culture as a clique in high school that will not tolerate any deviation from what the group believes. Why else do you think that virtually every elected homosexual is just not a civil libertarian but a far left liberal who would love the government to control how other people live.

  18. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Why else do you think that virtually every elected homosexual is just not a civil libertarian but a far left liberal who would love the government to control how other people live.

    You mean like Larry Craig?

  19. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Are you kidding? I should make concessions and compromises to encourage homophobes to acknowledge the US Constitution protects all Americans, not just those you like. Kiss my gay ass. I don’t require your approval or support. Continue on as a narrow minded bigot. Every election more and more people regard comments like yours as moronic. I am more than happy to wait the five to ten years it will take to make you the minority and even more bitter and angry than you already are.

  20. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Not republicans like you, bigot. But snow, Collins, chafee and the like, yeah. they are called moderates–and you are driving them away in droves. Good luck with that strategy.