By Cliff Dunn
TAMPA – Last week, a draft of the Republican Party platform was posted on the Republican National Committee Web site, then quickly taken down—but not before at least one copy was downloaded.
In its foreign policy section—titled “American Exceptionalism”—the draft includes language that reads, “The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the [Obama] Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda.”
It added, “We will reverse this tragic course, encourage more involvement by the most effective aid organizations, and trust developing peoples to build their future from the ground up.”
Although the section on international human rights addressed, “the work of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, established by Congressional Republicans to advance the rights of persecuted peoples everywhere,” and notes that a “Republican Administration will return the advocacy of religious liberty to a central place in our diplomacy,” no mention was given to the violence and murder against LGBT persons, or the activism against such brutality, which is reported in Europe, Asia, and Africa on an almost-weekly basis. It also fails to address Uganda’s 2009 legislation (still in Parliament) which calls for the death penalty for those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.” It was response to acts of violence abroad that moved Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in December 2011 to tell UN delegates that “gay rights are human rights.” When President Obama ordered “all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons,” Texas Governor Rick Perry—who was then seeking the Republican presidential nomination— objected that “promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests, and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money.”
The 2012 Republican platform supports “traditional marriage,” which it defines as between a man and a woman. A draft last week calls for a constitutional amendment that recognizes that definition, which would ban gay men and women from marrying. It condemns judges—including Bush-43 appointees—who have ruled in favor of marriage equality, calling it “an assault on the foundations of our society, challenging the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.”
It likewise calls President Obama’s decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court “a mockery of the President’s inaugural oath,” and “commend[s] the United States House of Representatives” for taking up the legal slack. Although at press time the platform draft does not call for reinstating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which was repealed by President Obama, it rejects “the use of the military as a platform for social experimentation.”
A cadre of platform committee members consists of former Ron Paul delegates, who reportedly joined with Log Cabin Republicans and other libertarian-leaning members to include the conciliatory statement, “We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.”