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If You Liked the 2016 GOP Platform,
You’ll Love This One, Too.

Sep 23, 2020 | Election Guide | 0 comments

Election Guide
September/October 2020
Special to GoGuide Magazine
A new column by Loren A Olson MD.
Father, psychiatrist,
and a gay man who
writes about all three.

At this year’s Republican National Convention, the RNC took the unusual step of adopting the 2016 platform unchanged. American Family Radio’s response was, “the truth is the 2016 platform is just fine the way it is. In fact, it is great the way it is. This is the platform that put Donald Trump in the White House.”

In a 6-3 vote, the conservative U.S. Supreme Court voted to enact the most sweeping legal protections for LGBTQ Americans in decades. This expansion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act based on “sex” extends workplace protections to all LGBTQ Americans. 

The Trump administration opposes interpreting the Civil Rights Act to encompass LGBTQ workers. An active wing of the GOP seeks to push back on legal protections for gay and transgender Americans. The Republican Party is running on a platform that opposes expanding workplace protections to LGBTQ Americans.

The GOP platform maintains its positions that include opposition to same-sex marriage and a nod to gay conversion therapy. The platform continues to oppose “the deviancy agenda” of trans people that the GOP claims will allow boys into girls’ restrooms, require females to compete against biologic males, and force Catholic hospitals to mutilate individuals in so-called “gender transition” surgery.”

On the other hand, the Democratic platform supports:
⦁ the Supreme Court’s decision to marry the person of your choice
⦁ protection of reproductive rights
⦁ universal health care 
⦁ climate leadership
⦁ a $15 per hour living wage
⦁ a debt-free college experience.

Words matter, especially words concerning our identities. Their effects are social, psychological, and personal. 

This year, Dictionary.com underwent a significant overhaul. Many of the changes had to do with the LGBTQ+ community, including discouraging using the word “homosexual” and replacing it with “gay.” They made the change to put people first and respect the relationship language has to social values. 

Casual offenses often are not intentional and can more easily be forgiven, but sometimes they are weaponized. “Homosexual” and “homosexuality” are now associated with pathology, mental illness, and criminality, implying that being gay is sick, diseased, or wrong.

Democrats prefer “gay” and “lesbian” over “homosexual.” Republicans also prefer “gay” over “homosexual” and rarely use “lesbian,” but Republicans use the word “homosexual” more than Democrats do. In Congress, anti-gay politicians like Steve King have weaponized “homosexual” most frequently. 

When those of us who are gay hear “homosexual,” we hear opposition to our struggle for equal treatment under the law and promotion of homophobic conspiracy theories about immoral and corrupt “homosexual agendas.”

The Trump campaign released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees that LGBTQ advocacy groups identified as alarming and terrifying for LGBTQ rights. The Republican platform is the Trump platform. 

The 2016 Republican platform–and now the 2020 platform–states “the foundation of civil society, and the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of one man and one woman.” They believed it then; they believe it now.

Since the 1970s, gay Americans have routinely given the GOP as much as 25% of their vote in presidential elections. We’ve done so even as religious conservatives dominate the Republican Party and actively opposed LGBTQ+’s fundamental rights

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