Sunday, July 10, 2016

Trump and the G.O.P. Platform Fight on Gay Rights

Trump pandering to Christofascists last month
Personally, I think that anyone who believes anything that Donald Trump says needs there head examined.  The man will say whatever he believes that the audience of the moment wants to hear so as to further support - and more importantly, adulation - for himself.  In Trump's world, it is ALL about him and his ego and self-love.  The problem is that over times he has made statements pandering to Christofascists and at other times he has boasted that he'd be wonderful for gay rights.  Now Trump finds himself in the crossfire between the Christofascists he has sought to court and moderates who want the party to stop alienating the LGBT vote and its allies - a voting segment that may well have thrown several battleground states to Barack Obama rather than Mitt Romney.  A piece in the New York Times looks at the tightrope Trump has placed himself on (my money says Trump will ultimately side with the Christofascists).  Here are excerpts:
Same-sex marriage and transgender rights are emerging as points of serious strain between social conservatives and moderates who are trying to shape the Republican platform, reviving a festering cultural dispute as thousands of party activists and delegates prepare for their convention.
Caught in the middle is Donald J. Trump, who claims “tremendous support, tremendous friendship” from gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, and has gone further than most party figures to embrace them.
Gays, in fact, are one of the few minority groups Mr. Trump has not singled out for criticism. But as the presumptive Republican nominee, he is also trying to assuage doubts about the convictions of his conservatism.
The uncomfortable dynamic Mr. Trump has created for himself is perhaps best illustrated by his own calendar.
He huddled last month at a Manhattan hotel with hundreds of religious conservatives, many of them — like James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council — outspoken opponents of new legal protections for gay and transgender people.
A few days later, he took what an aide described as a friendly and supportive call from Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic decathlete who came out as transgender last year.
One of the most contentious issues confronting delegates when they meet on Monday to debate the platform will be whether to adopt a provision defending state laws that try to prevent transgender people from using the public restroom of their choice.
The existing platform, adopted in 2012, is replete with disapproval of homosexuality. It calls court decisions favoring same-sex marriage “an assault on the foundations of our society” and accuses the Obama administration of trying to impose “the homosexual rights agenda” on foreign countries.
Paul E. Singer, a billionaire Republican who has financed gay rights battles across the country, is now funding an effort to write into the platform language more inclusive of gays, lesbians and transgender people. . . . Advisers for the American Unity Fund, who say they know they are fighting a steep uphill battle, argue that the Republican Party can no longer afford to alienate people on gay rights issues.
A draft of the 2016 version has been put together over the last several weeks by the Republican National Committee, . . . . The draft has not been publicly released, but committee members said in interviews that they expected to see language condemning the 2015 Supreme Court decision affirming the right to same-sex marriage, embracing the contested “religious liberty” laws that allow people to deny services to gay and lesbian couples, and supporting state efforts to stop transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.
The Republican platform committee has long been dominated by some of the party’s most stalwart activists. . . . There is Cynthia Dunbar of Virginia, who has compared the gay rights movement to Nazism. Hardy Billington, a committee member from Missouri, placed an ad in a local paper asserting that homosexuality kills people at two to three times the rate of smoking. And Mary Frances Forrester of North Carolina has claimed that the “homosexual agenda is trying to change the course of Western civilization.”
“The bigger problem for Trump and the Republican National Committee,” said Lanhee J. Chen, who led Mitt Romney’s platform efforts in 2012, “is the fact that there are these major disagreements between where Trump is on some of these issues and where the activist base of the party is.” . . . I don’t know if Trump really cares,” Mr. Chen added.

I hope the platform fight turns into an absolute blood bath. :-)

No comments: