The Oklahoma GOP recently held their state convention. And judging by the party platform they adopted, it seems the GOP rebranding effort has a long road ahead. The platform is genuinely creepy – and apparently uninfluenced by Meghan McCain’s Twitter feed. (The blog Forever in Hell has multiple posts on the platform, and was my original source. The GOP platform itself is available here and here*).
Anyway, I know Kevin Drum has previously noted the looneyness of the Texas GOP platform. And the Oklahoma platform has a lot of similarities. You know, all the good stuff you’d expect like withdrawing from the UN, restoring the gold standard, requiring biblical creation education, and Taliban-like intrusions on all matters related to sex (e.g., abortion, pornography, indecency regulation, no-fault divorces, Gardasil vaccinations).
But what’s most scary about this platform is its obsessive focus with homosexuality. The level of hate and vitriol directed at homosexuals by this document – adopted by a state political party – is jarring. If the national GOP is curious about the source of its image problems, look no further than to the Oklahoma GOP platform. It’s legitimately frightening. (On an aside, I think the intensity of this institutional hatred further supports judicial efforts to protect equality).
What’s most disturbing is that the platform references homosexuality again and again in multiple sections. But of all these references, the section below takes the taco – it’s truly the worst thing in the entire document.
This passage comes from a section called “Commendations” (p.29):
At the beginning of Oklahoma’s legislative session last February, the only openly gay Oklahoma legislator invited a gay pastor to give the opening prayer. In introducing himself before that prayer, the pastor had the audacity to say: “dear friends, my wonderful parents, and my loving partner and fiance, Michael.”
Well, that last bit crossed the line and several GOP legislators objected and wanted his subsequent prayer excluded from the official House record. They lost 64-20, but the Oklahoma GOP felt the need to formally commend the Fightin’ Twenty in its party platform for their efforts. Nice work team.
Note too the platform's quotation marks around fiancé. You can almost feel the Christian love and tolerance. (Also, Jones has a blog and wrote about the incident here).
This obnoxious provision, however, is far from alone. Below the fold, I’ve listed other provisions in the platform that explicitly reference homosexuality (I excluded hate crime stuff, but that should arguably be in too).
As you’re reading, note how many different sections of the platform reference homosexuality in some way. Note too the provision that would – by my reading – ban homosexuals from being teachers or interacting with children in any professional context.
It’s an eerie and creepy obsession. It’s more than that actually. It’s just hateful – and that’s about as precise an adjective as I can conjure to describe the Oklahoma GOP at the moment.
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES (p.3)
As Republicans, we believe: . . . 5. In traditional marriage consisting of one man and one woman.
Preamble: Traditional marriage, consisting of one man and one woman, is designed to provide for each family member’s physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and social well-being.
. . .
A. Marriage, Children, and Adoption
1. We affirm the state’s recognition that marriage between one man and one woman is a covenant relationship, instituted by God, not to be entered into casually, and is fundamental to our very existence and survival as a nation. Therefore, we strongly support a U.S. Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. . . .
4. We support Federal and State legislation, which prohibits recognition of same-sex marriages, civil unions, and/or domestic partnerships.
5. We oppose efforts to redefine marriage. Employers and taxpayers should not be forced to violate their convictions or to bear the cost of granting “same-sex marriages” the benefits that are due traditional marriages.
6. We believe that in order to encourage and protect family values, those promoting homosexuality or other aberrant lifestyles, should not be allowed to hold responsible positions over children which are not their own or over other vulnerable persons. [THIS IS THE ONE I WAS TALKING ABOUT]….
10. Except for adoption by a qualified relative (as defined by existing law), we support adoption only by traditional families.
. . .
1. We oppose the promotion of homosexuality, the elimination of laws against sodomy, and the granting of minority protection or special status to any person based upon sexual preference or lifestyle choices.
2. We believe that homosexuality is not a genetic trait but a chosen lifestyle. . . .
6. We support programs including faith-based organizations that promote traditional marriage, marriage enrichment, abstinence education, and encourage responsible parenting.
1. The traditional family unit, consisting of a (husband) man, (wife) woman and child(ren), is the foundation of our social structure. The Oklahoma Department of Education and various Boards of Regents should uphold and teach this definition of traditional family, at all levels of public school and higher education….
7. Any mandated sex education shall hold to the following guidelines:
a. Neither homosexual nor extramarital sexual activity shall be presented as safe, nor shall they be presented as morally or socially acceptable behaviors.
b. HIV shall be presented as incurable and fatal. . . .
9. We oppose the portrayal of homosexual or promiscuous behavior in a positive light in public schools.
7. We oppose the erosion of our military’s readiness through:
a. “Gender-norming” for training and promotion.
b. Co-ed basic training and housing.
c. “Sensitivity training” that supports or promotes the homosexual lifestyle.
d. Openly practicing homosexuals serving in the military.
(*Somewhat oddly, I couldn’t find the actual platform on pdf anywhere on the Google. Some people were posting a pdf of the Tulsa County GOP platform, but as I understand it, that’s not what the GOP adopted. If anyone has a pdf copy, please send along or provide a link in the comments.)