Republican Convention 2016

RNC Platform Opposes Gay Marriage Recognition While Making Case for It

Marriage is awesome for human welfare and children, but NO GAYS.


Lesbian family
Emily Walker / CC/SA

The 2016 Republican National Convention Party platform is out, folks, and has a lot to say. As Reason previously noted, internal efforts to try to moderate the party's platform on gay and transgender issues failed, and if anything, what is in the 2016 platform feels just even more aggressively opposed to whatever is currently being pushed within the LGBT agenda.

I would like to highlight the platform's positions on gay marriage recognition because I want to make an important point: This platform is not promoting the libertarian "get government out of marriage entirely" concept in any way, shape, or form. The platform very much wants the federal government to be involved in marriages, until federal officials do something they don't like.

On page 11, the platform has a whole short section titled "Defending Marriage Against an Activist Judiciary." The section describes the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to mandate same-sex marriage recognition across the country as "lawless," and that it robbed "320 million Americans of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman." Note the strange wording on that sentence there that assumes a certain outcome (and also includes children among the number of people who would be voting, but anyway). The platform calls for the ruling to be overturned and to leave the matter to the states.

So one might think logically, consistently, this would be a platform that opposes federal involvement in policies related to marriage, wouldn't one? Federal government is currently deeply involved in policies and benefits that are connected to whether participants are married or not.

But no, the RNC platform is fine with federal involvement in marriage to extent that it validates their positions on what a marriage should be. On page 31, the platform begins a lengthy segment on "Marriage, Family, and Society." It declares "natural marriage" to be between a man and a woman, but then goes on to talk about all the important regulations and policies that should be focused on encouraging stable families:

"Its daily lessons — cooperation, patience, mutual respect, responsibility, self-reliance — are fundamental to the order and progress of our Republic. Strong families, depending upon God and one another, advance the cause of liberty by lessening the need for government in their daily lives. Conversely, as we have learned over the last five decades, the loss of faith and family life leads to greater dependence upon government. That is why Republicans formulate public policy, from taxation to education, from healthcare to welfare, with attention to the needs and strengths of the family."

It goes on a little further:

Children raised in a two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, more likely to do well in school, less likely to use drugs and alcohol, engage in crime or become pregnant outside of marriage. We oppose policies and laws that create a financial incentive for or encourage cohabitation. Moreover, marriage remains the greatest antidote to child poverty. The 40 percent of children who now are born outside of marriage are five times more likely to live in poverty than youngsters born and raised by a mother and father in the home. Nearly three-quarters of the $450 billion government annually spends on welfare goes to single-parent households. This is what it takes for a governmental village to raise a child, and the village is doing a tragically poor job of it.

Remarkably, after presenting all this evidence that married households are more stable and benefit children, the platform immediately pivots and declares that this is all evidence that the government should only recognize heterosexual marriages.

This makes no logical sense. This is not an argument against same-sex marriage recognition. It is the exact opposite.

When you put these two sections together, what you end up seeing is an argument that marriage should be subject to federal regulation by lawmakers, but not to federal judicial review. If the GOP wants state government control over marriage rules, it should not be calling for federal policies that are connected to marital status. Whether or not one agrees with the actual Supreme Court decisions, it is utterly absurd to demand the federal government play a role in regulating and endorsing marriages but to try to exempt it from constitutional review.

NEXT: Did GOP Platform Writers Not Realize the Republican Party Was Nominating Donald Trump For President?

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  1. How do you know those young boys are gay at that age?

    1. I knew I liked other boys when I was 5 years old.

      And, every heterosexual man I’ve ever talked to about the topic also knew they were attracted to girls at around the same age.

      But, I’m pretty sure that, for the most part, marriage in America involves two consenting adults, so talking about “young boys” is pretty immaterial to the actual discussion at hand.

  2. Moreover, marriage remains the greatest antidote to child poverty.

    It also cures male pattern baldness and scurvy. Touching the hem of a married person’s robe will grant salvation, but only for a five-minute window. And if we could find a way to smoke marriage, we could fly.

    1. Wait, marriage cures baldness and scurvy?

      Hey, who wants to marry me?

    2. Marriage policy is kind of like housing policy. People invert cause and effect. If we give everyone a house, they will become middle class people with middle class values, because middle class people with middle class values tend to own homes! If we get everyone married, they will become middle class people with middle class values because middle class people with middle class values tend to get married!

  3. OK, so there’s an observer/protector in the Alps. He decides to open a weight watchers type business, but catering to homosexuals. The local paper decided to do a story about it.
    The headline reads “Swiss Servitor narrows gays”

    1. *Furrows brows*

  4. Columbia is like Disneyland…..groceries/

    1. Cross border shopping? It IS a small world after all!

  5. So to be Captain Obvious, stating that children with both parents do better isn’t really contradict their homosexual marriage stance. You see, you don’t actually get children when two people love each other very much and marry. Your parents left out a couple of details.

    1. Except many gay people have children from heterosexual relationships, and there are many many children in foster care.

      1. I know two people who were “straight” then got married and had kids then realized they were gay (or at least finally admitted it to themselves) and got divorced and then got gay married. I guess it’s pretty common. One is a guy and the other is a girl. The girl had sex with shitloads of guys when I knew her in college. There was one point when we were having a party I looked around the room and realized that she had sex with every guy in the room (it was like 15 guys). (yes, including me) She was also a voracious attention whore.

        1. Sounds like the word “attention” is superfluous.

          1. I doubt that. If college guys could afford to pay, they wouldn’t be marrying education majors.

            1. Dumb, sweet, likes kids, likely has a solid job earning getting back your tax dollars. Add “hot”, and it sounds like marriage material to me.

    2. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there are these incredible new concepts such as adoption, surrogacy, and in vitro fertilization that allow couples of any gender combination or fertility status to be parents.

    3. There’s also artificial insemination. The vast majority of sperm bank clients are lesbians and single women.

    4. Captain Obvious would point out that love and marriage don’t make children without sex, and that people do actually get children when they love each other and adopt or artificially inseminate. It happens all the time.

      Captain Obvious would appalled by your reasoning as much as your grammar.

      1. Re: “people do actually get children when they love each”

        Some people who don’t even know each others names also “get children”.

        Love is neither a requirement nor a barrier to makin’ baybeez. But marriage is allowed of the non-procreative as well.

        The GOP sure have a hard time figuring this out. And, inserting “God” and/or “Jesus” into the discussion doesn’t help them either.

    5. You seem not to be aware of reproductive technologies like IVF. TWO of Mint Robme’s sons ‘had’ to resort to using that technology to “get children”.

      There’s also … wait for it … adoption. (Heck, we let SINGLE people adopt.)

      Too bad that the topic is marriage and not ‘getting children’. I mean, we DO allow the non-procreative to marry in America, after all.

      There’s not one State in the Union that inquires as to the baby-making ability let alone any baby-making intentions of any couple applying for a civil marriage license.

      The SCOTUS literally laughed the notion of baby-making out of the courtroom – TWICE! (Windsor and Obergefell)

      Get a better ‘argument’. Preferably, a relevant one.

  6. Is there anything more pointless than (a) a political platform “plank” about (b) something that is not within the power of elected officials to actually do anything about?

    1. Old farts have been signaling long before millennials.

      1. *looks around*

        That’s because we’ve had more time to signal.

        It’s signals per-second that’s the proper measure.

    2. Except this is not pointless because it helps push the RNC further into obscurity.

      1. Re: “it helps push the RNC further into obscurity”

        You make that sound like a ‘bad thing’.


  7. So why do you have a picture of that nice lady and her husband illustrating a story on gay marriage, anyway?

  8. Our gays are too precious to lock them into a soulless marriage.

  9. Suddenly the Republicans are against gay marriage–and that’s Trump’s fault, too?

    Are we gonna slog Trump every. step. of. the. way?

    1. It’s Reason, so yes. Look for lots of pro-Hillary articles from the likes of Chapman.

    2. Yep, we are, Ken. Its a two-pronged strategy:

      (a) Beats having to think about what to write.

      (b) Keeps the resume fresh for those phat legacy media job openings.

      1. Regarding (b), this is a special opportunity, as they’ve at least had to pretend to bitch about Obama for 8 years. Now they can build up a full portfolio in a few short months trashing the R for being racist and sexist. That is a WashPo columnist qualification if I’ve ever seen one.

    3. The word “Trump” does not appear in this blog post anywhere.

      1. The anti-Trump has been all over this site, other sites, and TV all day, week, . . .

        Sorry if it all starts to blur together.

        Slide down the main blog page and get a feel for it.

        There’s even a post titled, “Trump Vows to Trash the Constitution”.

        Turns out “I vow to trash the Constitution” wasn’t an actual quote taken from one of his speeches.

        And the GOP really has been anti-gay marriage since forever.

        1. Kiev, Just admit you didn’t read the article and you made a mistake. You don’t really need to double down.

          1. I didn’t make a mistake with your name, you’ve got Ukraine written all over you.


      3. It’s so cute when Scott thinks what he writes is what us commenters read. I READ BETWEEN THE LINES! THE PIECE WAS ALL ABOUT TRUMP!

        1. Honestly, I was reading it while listening to CNN do Trump fest in the background, and I think it all just blurred together.

          Does the convention last through Thursday?

          Three more 24 hour cycles of Trump, and Trump hasn’t even spoken yet. It’s like when you’ve gotten suspended, you’re sitting in the Vice Principal’s office, and they tell you your dad has taken off work and he’s on his way to pick you up.

          The anticipation makes you focus on the pain–the Trump dread makes it feel like the worst is already happening.

    4. That. Would. Be. A. Good. Start.

      He deserves a good ‘slogging’ for what he’s done to the American discourse.

  10. Oh, good. Gay marriage.

  11. I have never understood the fetishizing of the platform and it’s ‘planks’ by the wonkish.

    It’s a mission statement, crafted by the party ignorati to get them to leave the people doing the actual work alone. See ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” for an example.

    1. Me either. Have you ever heard the platform mentioned after the conventions? I haven’t’.

  12. “This platform is not promoting the libertarian “get government out of marriage entirely” concept in any way, shape, or form.”

    To be fair, the LP candidate isn’t promoting that concept, either.

    1. So in other words, why pick on the Republicans?

      1. because Fuck the Republicans?

  13. There is a fair amount of data out there that says kids don’t do as well in gay homes than they do in straight two parent homes. There is also a pretty large amount of anecdotal evidence of kids raised in those environments that as adults say they don’t think it was a good environment.

    Is that conclusive? Hardly. But the evidence going the other way is much less convincing. Moreover, given the known biases of social scientists and the unbelievable beat down people like Scott would give anyone who said that gay parenting might not be ideal, it is pretty surprising there is any evidence going that way. Conclusive or not, I seriously doubt the social scientists who did the work are guilty of confirmation bias.

    The real shame is that the issue is so politically charged that we can’t have an honest debate about it. If it is the case that kids all things being equal do better in a heterosexual home, then that should be the preferred solution for adoptions and custody battles, absent the gay couple making a strong case that something is wrong with the straight couple getting custody of a child. Certainly a two parent gay couple is better than no parents but that is not always the choice. In cases where it is not, it would be nice if society were honest enough to really look at the matter rather than falling back on the PC assumption that all things gay are wonderful and superior to all things straight.

    1. There is a fair amount of data out there that says kids don’t do as well in gay homes than they do in straight two parent homes

      Please link to the study then

      1. The complaint is that the studies that paint a happy picture contain small sample sizes and don’t look at long term results.

        In fact, an important article published in tandem with the Regnerus study (by Loren Marks, Louisiana State University) analyzes the 59 previous studies cited in a 2005 policy brief on homosexual parents by the American Psychological Association (APA).[2] Marks debunks the APA’s claim that “[n]ot a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.” Marks also points out that only four of the 59 studies cited by the APA even met the APA’s own standards by “provid[ing] evidence of statistical power.” As Marks so carefully documents, “[N]ot one of the 59 studies referenced in the 2005 APA Brief compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of married parents and their children.”

        To summarize, we have been left with large, scientifically strong studies showing children do best with their married mother and father–but which do not make comparisons with homosexual parents or couples; and studies which purportedly show that children of homosexuals do just as well as other children–but which are methodologically weak and thus scientifically inconclusive.…..s-research

        1. The Regnerus ‘study’ has been so debunked so often, and yet you rely on it to make your (off-topic) ‘point’.

          And using the “F” “R” C as your source doesn’t bolster your ‘credentials’.

      2. Basically everyone agrees that kids do better with their biological parents in the home. No one has done any good work comparing homosexual two parent homes to straight ones. They have done work but none of it has been very well done. So they might do as well. But no one seems to be able to explain why that is beyond “gays are wonderful” and no one has been able to produce a study that shows it in any convincing and rigorous manner, despite claims to the contrary.

        1. First off John, don’t use the FRC as a source for information, they are by no means repudable. The fact that the article ACTUALLY begins by stating that their research tops all others makes that abundantly clear. Second, you can’t really make an argument saying that gay couples should not raise children and should always be raised by their biological parents. These couples didn’t steal these children (well, almost all of them didn’t.) Most of these children either lost their parents or were given up for adoption. As far as I’m concerned, as long as the couple meets financial, mental, and attentiveness criteria they are qualified to be parents, regardless of being gay or straight.

          By the way, no, I don’t believe that being a biological parent makes you more fit to be a parent than an adoptive one. Perhaps it gives one an advantage, but that only matters if all other variables in patenting are equal, which they never are. If I would have to choose between biological parents or adoptive parents with all other factors being equal then naturally I would prefer the biological couple. But the fact remains that children that are given up for adoption are primarily there because their biological parents would not have been able to provide a stable life for their child, or are (sadly) dead.

          1. First off. spare me your ad hominem. Second, it is not about adoptive versus biological parents. It is about having two different sex parents instead of two same sex ones. So your rant about adoptive parents is not relevant to the debate.

            And the studies that claim that same sex parents are as good are all bad science. They don’t show what the preport to show. If you don’t like the messenger of that message, too bad.

            1. Re: “Second, it is not about adoptive versus biological parents.”

              The topic is NOT “about” parents at all. It is about whether or not two consenting adults of the same sex may get legally married.

              That you can ONLY talking about making and raising children shows you haven’t GOT an argument about the actual TOPIC whatsoever.

              So, YOUR rant about parents is not relevant to the debate, John.

        2. Basically everyone agrees that kids do better with their biological parents in the home. No one has done any good work comparing homosexual two parent homes to straight ones.

          Yeah, there are plenty of studies out there that show children with one or two non-biological parents tend to fare worse.…..ox/409495/
          And most people wouldn’t argue with the idea that, say, abuse is more common among step-parents, but somehow they get bent out of shape when you suggest that pattern might exist among non-biological parents who are gay. As if gay adoptive/step parents are magically better than straight adoptive/step parents.

          1. That said, my opinion is it’s better for kids to have any parents who care for them…even if they can’t be with their biological parents. But we don’t have to live in a fantasy bubble and pretend that every arrangement is equally perfect to avoid being politically incorrect, or whatever.

          2. The topic here is the GOP’s platform about same-sex couples getting married.

            Please stop feeding the notions about parenting. It’s a separate topic.

            Non-procreative couples are allowed to get married in America.

        3. Still talking about “kids” when the topic is the two adults getting MARRIED.

          Please address the topic. The topic is NOT ‘parenting’ or makin’ baybeez.

      3. Don’t bother with John’s “study.” The FRC is well-known for being biased against anything related to LGBT issues.

        1. So what? That doesn’t mean they are wrong.

          1. But … they ARE wrong on the topic. The Regnerus ‘study’ you cited has been thoroughly (and repeatedly) debunked.

            And, what Styled said (“The FRC is well-known for being biased against anything related to LGBT issues.”) is accurate and observable.

            Their very goal is to prevent LGBTQ2S citizens from enjoying their Constitutionally-promised equal protections of the law. And ALL because of … religion.

    2. I really wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of a “social scientist” who looked at the data and said, “oops, it looks like two dads or two moms isn’t an ideal situation for a kid. Well, I’ll be danged if I spend the next few years having people turn their backs at me on conferences and trying to deny me tenure. I’ll research video-game violence instead, and I’ll just stick this research into the round file.”

      1. I don’t know that that is true. It might not be. But I do know that if it were true, the poor bastard who showed it to be so would see his career ended and we likely will never know that it is.

      2. Name two compelling reason why whether a child”s upbringing is “ideal” is your business.

        Aaaaand…. GO!

        1. It is not mine personally. If however I am a judge making a custody decision is sure as hell is my business. It is also my business if I am running an adoption agency and deciding which couples get priority.

        2. Like I told you, I’d love to see the libertarian plan for deregulating marriage. I’m all ears. Let Cato or Reason come up with a plan.

          So far all I hear is “so long as it’s not feasible to deregulate marriage, we may as well have the government actively promote alternate forms of marriage.”

          Come up with a practical plan for deregulation – go!

          1. “like I told you” should be “like I told y’all”

            1. Plan? Plan?

              Eddie. *rubs forehead* Eddie, you’re a good man. All I’m saying here is that instead of answering a simple question (I would have accepted fatherhood as one answer, I’m not completely unreasonable here) – but anyway, SIMPLE QUESTION, and you not only do not answer, you avoid the subject by telling me to create a legal structure by which humans can do what they have successfully done for the species’ entire existence.

              That’s dirty cricket.

              1. Well, let’s come up with a couple points, shall we?

                -If a child isn’t raised by its married mom and dad, that increases the chances the child will end up on welfare

                -if a child isn’t raised by its married mom and dad, that increases the chances the child will commit some violent crime

                Now how about your deregulatory plans?

                1. -If a child isn’t raised by its married mom and dad, that increases the chances the child will end up on welfare

                  -if a child isn’t raised by its married mom and dad, that increases the chances the child will commit some violent crime

                  That’s your compelling interest. What might happen. Well, hey, can’t possibly see what could go wrong with that. No way that could be turned against Christians and all either, what the illiberals think might turn out less than ideal if Christian parents are given autonomy to willy-nilly raise kids as they see fit.

                  You talk as if you would love to institute parenting licenses, and imagine that your team will be the ones in power deciding who gets to have one.

                  It’s nice, thinking to one’s self, “wow, if I had all this power and control over other people, this is how I would arrange their lives for the better.” It stops being nice when you think what it would be like to have a,dare I say, god-like amount of power and control exerted over you. For your own good, though, Eddie, so that’s all right then.

                  Besides, correlation does not equal ca- …. why do I even have to say this? You’re a smart man, I should not have to say this.

                  1. “parenting licenses”

                    Really? Us Papists actually have a good record *opposing* any sort of government regulation of who becomes a parent.

                    The Church stood almost alone when it counted, opposing the eugenicist project of the government deciding who should be a parent.

                    The science was settled – only a bunch of Papists and some fundamentalist hick Protestants denied that there should be government eugenic panels picking and choosing who was worthy to reproduce.

                    Many of the progs didn’t change their minds until Hitler ruined eugenics for them, so they jumped to the head of the parade and said they’d been against eugenics all along, and that’s how they wrote the history books.

                    And, I’m sorry to say, folks like you seem to have bought it.

                    1. “American Catholic judges, in spite of their official oaths to enforce all laws impartially, are directed by the hierarchy in official documents not to carry out, with Catholics, or non-Catholics, the sterilization laws which exist in twenty-seven states.”

                      -Paul Blanshard, American Freedom and Catholic Power (Beacon Press, 1949), p. 70

                    2. “Indeed, Europe’s northwestern nations were the most receptive to eugenics. Predominantly Catholic countries were the most resistant…”

                      -Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, Expanded Edition, Dialog Press, 2012, p. 240.

                    3. “68. Finally, that pernicious practice must be condemned which closely touches upon the natural right of man to enter matrimony but affects also in a real way the welfare of the offspring. For there are some who over solicitous for the cause of eugenics, not only give salutary counsel for more certainly procuring the strength and health of the future child – which, indeed, is not contrary to right reason – but put eugenics before aims of a higher order, and by public authority wish to prevent from marrying all those whom, even though naturally fit for marriage, they consider, according to the norms and conjectures of their investigations, would, through hereditary transmission, bring forth defective offspring. And more, they wish to legislate to deprive these of that natural faculty by medical action despite their unwillingness; and this they do not propose as an infliction of grave punishment under the authority of the state for a crime committed, not to prevent future crimes by guilty persons, but against every right and good they wish the civil authority to arrogate to itself a power over a faculty which it never had and can never legitimately possess.”

                      Pius IX, Casti Connubii, 1930

                  2. Re: “You talk as if you would love to institute parenting licenses”

                    That might help better the sorry record so many heterosexuals have with ‘parenting’, but that still isn’t the topic.

                    It’s whether or not two consenting adults can get legally, civilly married.

                    No State in the Union even ASKS if a couple CAN procreate, or INTENDS to procreate. It is NOT a “legitimate State’s interest” unless and until procreation happens. But, we do let non-procreative couples marry.

                    Can’t ANYONE here discuss the actual topic???

                2. Still about chilluns and still NOT about two people getting married.

          2. Don’t worry, I won’t rush you, I wouldn’t want to see some half-assed deregulation plan.

            1. Having not even attempted to answer my question, if you caterwaul about me answering yours, I will point out that I asked first and also spank you.

              1. See above.

                Now what specific deregulatory plans do you have?

                1. Well, I suppose a plan like that wouldn’t be the work of a day.

                  1. Oh, come on, I answered *you* question, and even helped take down your straw man summary, now you can return the favor and suggest how the deregulation will come about.

          3. Re: “Come up with a practical plan for deregulation [of marriage].”

            No one’s ever given a reason FOR deregulating it. Why create a ‘plan’ for a nonsensical notion???

        3. The topic here is marriage, not “a child’s upbringing”.

          We DO let couples who do not/can not/will not procreate get married.

    3. Your entire ‘premise’ is built on there BEING children.

      The TOPIC, however, is marriage, not making babies, nor “parenting” them if and when they arrive in a relationship. We DO let the non-procreative marry, remember.

      Discuss marriage. THAT would be “an honest debate” … about the topic of … marriage.


  14. One other thing, since when does having a marriage license make a damn bit of difference to the stability and happiness of the couple? Scott apparently thinks that no couple can be stable and happy unless the government blesses off on their unions. I guess there were never any stable or happy gay couples before the sacred gay marriage decision and every straight couple who didn’t get the blessing of the state on their union must be some kind trailer trash or something. How conservative of Scott.

    1. I do feel that the Republican (conservative?) position is that the ‘marriage’ is more significant than any other relationship in the eyes of society and the law.

    2. “One other thing, since when does having a marriage license make a damn bit of difference to the stability and happiness of the couple? Scott apparently thinks that no couple can be stable and happy unless the government blesses off on their unions.”

      Where did Scott make this argument? He’s clearly critiquing Repubs hypocritical platform. If republicans really think married couples are swell for kids and marriage should be promoted (again, he’s not making the argument, the republicans are) why are they against gay marriage?

      1. He totally makes that argument. He says that the Republicans contradict their own point. The assumption of Scott’s argument is that married couples are more stable. He is doing more than pointing out alleged hypocrisy.

    3. This is exactly right. My dad’s cousin is gay, and has been in a faithful steady relationship since before my parents were married.

  15. “…youngsters born and raised by…” Youngsters? Really? Was I supposed to be reading this in a folksy, Pepperidge Farm-sounding voice?

  16. Spoiler alert:

    This ‘debate’ has devolved into discussing ONLY parenting and NOT marriage whatsoever. (Kind of mirroring the GOP’s platform, I guess.)

    Whether or not two consenting adults can get married has nothing to do with whether or not any children will come into the marriage. Neither the ability nor the intention to procreate is even inquired about when a couple seeks a marriage license.

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