The Republican Platform Committee added Ant-Transgender positions, conversion therapy and bible study in public schools to the RNC platform on Monday night.
“I think it only hurts us, and it shrinks our tent.” – New York delegate Annie Dickerson
The platform committee traditionally meets a week before the televised national convention to debate and set the party’s official positions on key issues. The agenda is then given the final stamp of approval by the full convention. This year’s 112-member committee listened to multiple pleas from New York delegate Annie Dickerson, who sought to remove all anti-transgender language from the platform. “I think it only hurts us, and it shrinks our tent,” said Dickerson, who sought to make the party more inclusive. Her efforts failed however, garnering only 20 votes out of the 112-member committee. They also pledged their support to fight title IX provisions that allow transgender students to use the restrooms that are congruent with their gender identity, lending support to states that are currently suing the federal government.
Perhaps even more alarming is the party’s endorsement of “Conversion” or “Reparative” therapy. This is the practice that seeks to “cure” people from being gay or transgender through prayer and psychological manipulation. Most medical professionals and the scientific community have criticized this practice as pseudoscience. The techniques used in such practice have been proven to be dangerous and not effective.
Other issues adopted included no changes to the party’s stance on gay marriage, in which pleas to remove such language from the platform were also voted down 92-20. The party also added bible study in public schools as part of their agenda along with “religious freedom” laws, which would give businesses the right to refuse service to gay and transgender people on the basis of religion.
“Missing from the discussion was presumptive nominee Donald Trump, whose public stance on transgender issues has been wavering at best.”
Missing from the discussion was presumptive nominee Donald Trump, whose public stance on transgender issues has been wavering at best. He has said publicly however that he will not interfere with the party’s platform. Most recently, Trump had a phone conversation with Caitlyn Jenner, who pleaded her case to for the party to embrace the transgender community to the presumptive nominee.
Though the party’s official stance is traditionally adopted during the national convention, it is not uncommon for more moderate party members to break away from such stances. For now, we will have to wait and see.