Political Platforms — Just the Facts, A Stunning Tale of Two Parties

| Feb 1, 2016
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I get a lot of political email and have a done quite a bit of bipartisan lobbying and advocating for LGBT issues on a national scale. This week I received an email from the American Unity fund advocating for Platform Reform at the Republican National Convention this summer in Cleveland  which included a call seeking out people who supported civil marriage equality to be delegates to their convention.

Their email suggested adding the following language to the 2016 RNC Convention Platform:

“We believe that marriage matters both as a religious institution and as a fundamental, personal freedom. Because marriage—rooted in love and lifelong commitment—is one of the foundations of civil society, as marriage thrives, so our nation thrives.

We believe that the health of marriage nationwide directly affects the social and economic well being of individuals and families, and that undermining families leads to more government costs and more government control over the lives of its citizens. Therefore, we believe in encouraging the strength and stability of all families.

We recognize that there are diverse and sincerely held views on civil marriage within the Party, and that support for allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry has grown substantially in our own Party. Given this journey that so many Americans, including Republicans, are on, we encourage and welcome a thoughtful conversation among Republicans about the meaning and importance of marriage, and commit our Party to respect for all families and fairness and freedom for all Americans.”

Not particularly strong, but positive in scope.

Paul Singer

Paul Singer

The American Unity Fund and its PAC was founded by the billionaire “vulture” hedge fund manager, Paul Singer who has raised and bundled many millions for  Republican candidates and PACS ostensibly to support pro LGBT rights legislation and candidates and elected officials who support LGBT rights. Admirable and noble, praiseworthy of Paul Singer!

But wait, there’s more! In October 2015, Paul Singer endorsed Marco Rubio for President! What? The same Marco Rubio who voted against the LGBT inclusive Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA), the seemingly non controversial legislation that passed 78-22. [More.]

Rubio dared to use the phrase “hate speech” when describing how, one day, those who objected to marriage equality would be seen as propagating hate speech.

Rubio is one of the original cosponsors of the First Amendment Defense Act, which would create a license for every individual, business, and government employee in America to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation.

Do we have some mixed messaging from Mr. Singer?

Meanwhile on Friday, January 23, 2016, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz submitted her nominations for the 2016 Convention Standing Committees to the DNC’s Executive Committee for ratification. (The Chair gets to nominate 25 people each to the Credentials, Platform and Rules committees over and above those members who are appointed from each State or territory as part of their respective credentialed delegations.)

It is noteworthy that 10 of the 75 total or over 13% were out LGBT people, but what was extraordinary, especially in comparison to the void in the Republican Party, was that 6 of the 25, a stunning 24%, were LGBT people were appointed to the all important Platform Committee!  Yes, it is a trans inclusive group as it includes National Center for Transgender Equality founder Mara Keisling.

I thank that it will be a safe assumption that the DNC will have a strong and inclusive set of planks for full LGBT equality in their 2016 convention platform. There will continue to be a very clear difference as to where each political party stands for you and for me!

As I remind and encourage LGBT people to get involved in the process and be delegates, being appointed to a Standing Committee is another way to be a part of the official Convention delegation if you are not elected as a Delegate or an Alternate. In my State of New Jersey, we have 5 each committee picks, in California there are 17 each, Colorado 3, Rhode Island 1 each, and so forth. States with more Democratic voters have more representatives. Every State and territory has at least 1 appointment to each Committee.

Yes, her nominations were ratified unanimously!

See you in Philly!

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Category: Transgender Opinion, Transgender Politics


About the Author ()

“Babs” is a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee, Deputy Vice Chair of the NJ Democratic State Committee and Political Director of the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of NJ. For the current campaign she serves on the Executive Committee of Trans United 4 Obama. She has served as Vice Chair of the DNC Eastern Caucus, President of NJ Stonewall Democrats, Co-Chair of National Stonewall Democrats Federal PAC Board, Vice-Chair of Garden State Equality, Executive Board member of National Stonewall Democrats as Chair of the DNC Relations Committee and a member of the NJ Civil Unions Review Commission.

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