The Texas Republican Party has released its 2010 platform, and where did they turn for inspiration? To the Founding Fathers? To a strict reading of the Constitution? Actually, it looks to me like they turned to…Uganda.
The international community has raised a stink over Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality bill. But the Texas GOP has built some of its key features into its party platform, including a policy of imprisoning straight people who help gays get married. I guess I’ve unfairly stereotyped Texan Republicans, because I never thought they’d want to make their state more like a country in Africa. The parallels are damned clear, though, starting with their basic principles.
Uganda and Texas on Homosexuality’s Threat to the Family
Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill:
And the Texas GOP platform (the first three lines give you the general idea — the rest just specifies the rights they want to ensure we never have):
Well, okay, we know the GOP doesn’t like teh gays. But do they want to follow Uganda’s lead by throwing us in prison?
Uganda and Texas on Criminalizing Homosexuality
That’s a little scary. Still, Texas has a long and proud history of sodomy laws. Surely the state GOP doesn’t want to further imitate Uganda and imprison people without even proving they committed sodomy…
Uganda and Texas on Criminalizing Same-Sex Marriage
Aaaand here’s Texas:
The Texas GOP doesn’t just want to convict the gay couple. They want to throw in the person who issued the marriage license and the official who performed the ceremony (Uganda’s law would do the same thing, but in other provisions I’ve haven’t excerpted). Now “felony” generally means mandatory jail time. Or worse. Of course, one key difference is that Uganda mandates life imprisonment, while Texas doesn’t. Texas doesn’t say how severe they want the penalty to be. In some ways, that’s even scarier: at least one Texas prosecutor has argued (in a different context) that life imprisonment wouldn’t be that big a deal to gays:
In arguing for the death penalty, prosecutor Morris said, “Sending a homosexual to the penitentiary certainly isn’t a very bad punishment for a homosexual” because of sexual interactions between male inmates, so a life sentence would be inadequate.
I don’t even know how to end this entry. I guess it comes back to the fact that we can never settle for anything less than full civil equality. There can be no compromise — there can’t even be negotiation – with people who deny your basic right to exist. The Texas GOP controls the governor’s office, the State Senate, and the State House. This is the platform of the people in charge. Remember that when somebody tells you gays don’t face the same threat to our civil rights as other minorities.