Proposed Republican Platform Enshrines Discrimination against LGBT Americans

July 11, 2016 • 3:17 pm

WASHINGTON – This afternoon, the Republican National Committee released its proposed platform that will be voted on by delegates attending the GOP’s convention next week in Cleveland, Ohio.  If passed, the current platform, which is meant to be a statement of what the Republican Party believes, will advocate for discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

“It is clear that an extreme and far-right minority has a stranglehold over the platform process, and is pushing the Republican Party away from the majority of Americans who support protecting LGBT individuals and their families from discrimination,” Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans said. “Donald Trump has said that he is a friend to the LGBT community; he needs to demonstrate that commitment by fighting to have the discriminatory planks stripped from the platform.”

Amongst the planks proposed by the committee is a measure targeting transgender Americans for discrimination by hailing states that have filed a lawsuit over the Obama Administration’s recent directive calling on schools that receive federal funds to allow transgender students the freedom to use the facilities and participate in activities that match their gender identity. The proposed language is modeled on North Carolina’s widely derided and discriminatory HB2 and includes language requiring that an individual’s sex corresponds with their birth certificate, creating a new “biological sex” definition.

Another proposed plank would have the Party endorse the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, which will be heard in a U.S. House committee tomorrow. The legislation will allow businesses, organizations and taxpayer funded nonprofits to legally discriminate against LGBT Americans and their families.  The bill is similar to a measure that a US District Court judge in Mississippi struck down two weeks ago, claiming it clearly violated the First and 14h amendments to the US Constitution.

It is also similar to a law signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in 2015. The measure was met by immediate public backlash with businesses and conservative leaders calling for full repeal of the measure.  Since being signed into law, the Hoosier state has lost hundreds-of-millions of dollars in business and saw important jobs and conventions leave the state.

A recent CNN/ORC poll found that 57 percent of Americans oppose laws legalizing discrimination against transgender individuals. And 75 percent of Americans support nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing and public services for transgender individuals.

Earlier today, Freedom for All Americans and partners launched an ad that will air during the Republican Convention. The ad highlights the very real challenges that transgender Americans face every day and can be viewed at FairnessUSA.org.

“Now is the time for Donald Trump and Republican leaders to stand up to extreme right-wing enemies of equality,” McTighe added. “It’s time for both major parties to support equal rights under the law for every American, including LGBT Americans.”

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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