Texas Republican Party includes anti-LGBT ideology in its new platform – Houston Public Media

The Republican Party of Texas adopted its latest platform on Saturday, including two sections of anti-LGBT beliefs.

In the platform voted on by delegates at the party’s biennial convention, a section – titled “Homosexuality and Gender Issues” – states that “homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice”.

Chris Halbohn called the line “an unnecessarily gratuitous addition to the Texas Republican Party platform.” Halbohn is president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Houston, an organization that represents LGBT conservatives.

“We exist to advance that niche voice within the Republican Party, because there are a lot of gay conservatives, there are a lot of lesbian conservatives, and a lot of trans conservatives,” Halbohn told the Texas Newsroom on Saturday.

Delegates also agreed to wording that Republicans do not believe in “granting” special status to LGBTQ+ people, and also agreed to a board stating that the party opposes to “all efforts to validate transgender identity”.

Halbohn said he agrees the state should not give special treatment to people who identify as LGBTQ+.

Currently, LGBTQ+ people have no special status or treatment in the country.

The Texas Republican Party has been embroiled in controversy over its stance on LGBTQ+ issues, including excluding Texas Log Cabin Republicans from the convention.

The party has twice rejected the group’s request to have a stand at this year’s convention.

David Palmer, public relations director for Log Cabin Republicans of Houston, said there was no legitimate reason for the rejection.

“This is a political organization, not a religious group,” Palmer said. “I think the Texas Republican Party rules were used disproportionately against us to prevent us from being at the convention.”

Both Palmer and Halbohn attended the convention as delegates.

The decision to deny the group a booth has caught the attention of national Republicans, including Donald Trump, Jr, the son of former President Trump.

“The Texas GOP should focus its energy on fighting the radical Democrats and weak RINOs who are currently trying to legislate our 2nd Amendment rights, instead of nullifying a group of gay conservatives who stand with us,” said Trump Jr. at conservative outlet Breitbart.

Log Cabin National Republicans released a statement after the state chapter was expelled, calling the decision “close-minded” and “politically short-sighted.”

“The Texas Republican Party has an opportunity to play a central role in our shared victory – but weak leadership that undermines the party’s appeal to a new generation of voters … should re-evaluate its priorities,” the statement said. “Losers don’t change the course of the nation – only winners. And inclusion wins.”

Heads of state at the convention talked a lot about how the party has made inroads in terms of diversity. They mentioned elected congresswoman Mayra Flores, a Republican who became the first Mexican-born congresswoman after winning the special election for Texas’ 34th district last week.

But the state party seems to have made it clear that it draws a line with LGBT people.

Jack Finger, a constituency chairman from San Antonio, agrees with the exclusion of LGBT Republicans from the convention. He even protested that the convention schedule mentioned an event hosted by the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas.

“Their ideas that we consider are, quite frankly, wrong,” Finger said. “We believe their ideals will destroy our society.”

Throughout the conference, anti-LGBT flyers were distributed, including one titled “Be Vigilant and Aware of the Gay Agenda”.

On Saturday, delegates also voted on another element of the platform that opposed same-sex marriage.

But some Republicans acknowledged the party needed to do better to accommodate more people.

“I have a real problem with people here – how are you going to tell me that you don’t stand firm on our principles but you don’t want another band to come because you don’t think they do “, Jessica Steels, a College Station delegate, said.

She added that the party’s foundation does not exclude LGBTQ people.

“Do I have a problem with (LGBT people)? Absolutely not,” Steels said. “Are they my comrades in arms on the side of conservatism? Yes, they are.”

David Gebhart, one of the delegates to the convention, tried unsuccessfully to add amendments to this section of the party platform, saying it contained “inflammatory” words.

“The other language that’s there doesn’t benefit our party,” Gebhart said. “And I just want to say, we’re the Republican Party of Texas. We’re not the Westboro Baptist Church.”

Copyright 2022 KUT 90.5. To learn more, visit KUT 90.5.

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