Texas Republicans No Longer Want to Imprison Gays! (Not officially, at least)

This is…progress, I suppose.

In 2008 and 2010, the Texas State Republican Platform contained the following language:

Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy…

Marriage Licenses – We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.

Neither of those are in the 2012 platform. That’s kind of a big deal. Throwing gays in prison is apparently no longer a political winner even in the conservative heartland of the conservative heartland.

Here’s another improvement. The 2010 platform offered a vile equation of gays with child molesters:

We also believe that no homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be prohibited but if ordered by the court limited to supervised periods.

That’s gone from 2012, with the language changed to:

We believe that no individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child. An abused child should be given the option of declining visitation with his/her abuser. If court ordered, visitation with minor children by such persons should be supervised.

Also, they’ve backed away from total opposition to gay adoption and now are merely opposing “mandates that deny mothers a choice in selecting a traditional home for their children.”

That’s good news for kids with same-sex parents, so let me shout, Hoo-r…

Hold on.


Let me try one more time.

Hoo-r…oh, screw it.

It’s hard to cheer this, even though it’s a subtle but clear signal we’re winning the culture war, even on the most hostile of fronts. Because the new platform still says this:

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.

Got to love the scare quotes around “couples.” I knew they thought we couldn’t “marry” but apparently we can’t even “couple.”

Still, this horrible anti-gay platform is better than than evil version it only recently replaced. Yes, evil — that anti-parent, anti-child policy of treating gay moms and dads as if they were convicted child molesters was evil. But it casts a new light on Dan Savage’s recent “house faggots” comment. I can’t support Dan on that comment. I wish he wouldn’t call anyone a faggot. I wished nobody called anyone a faggot. However, I also wish the outraged conservatives piling on Dan’s choice of word were just as outraged by the evil that our country’s biggest state Republican party has only just now stopped promoting. I wish they recognized that Dan’s comment, however intemperate and unfair, was not unprovoked.

But I’m detouring from my original point, my happier point. We’re winning. Even in the most hostile political circles, where winning is mostly an improved version of losing — we’re still winning. This is progress, and it’s only my privileged, urban, Southern-California perspective that makes it hard for me to celebrate it. But we’re winning.

And by the way, there must have been some intense debates going on in Republican Texas over these changes. If anyone has video, transcripts, or links, please post them in the comments.

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6 comments to Texas Republicans No Longer Want to Imprison Gays! (Not officially, at least)

  • 1
    Ken O'Neill says:

    Ugh.  Thanks for writing this.  Always good to be reminded.

  • 2
    Spunky says:

    My favorite part was the quotation marks around “couples” as well. Excessive quotation marks are the easiest way for me to tell whether something is worth reading. As soon as I see quotation marks around a word when it’s used in the context of gays, I know I’ve just wasted my time even looking at the article/comment in the first place. I remember seeing the title of some Robert George article that contained the phrase “same-sex ‘marriage'” and just didn’t bother reading any further. It’s so nice when people making it easy.
    On the other hand, it has bothered me to see so many people putting word “research” in quotation marks when referring to Regnerus’ study. However poorly he used his work, it <i>is</i> research. In fact, even if it’s terrible research (like Paul Cameron level), it’s still research. In general, I think it’s time for a moratorium for the use of quotation marks for the purpose of demeaning something. Best leave that to our closed-minded opponents.

  • 3
    Jules says:

    In fairness, the Texas GOP did not necessarily wants gays to be sentenced to imprisonment as of 2008 and 2010. The statute in dispute in Lawrence v. Texas made homosexual sex a class C misdemeanor, punishable only by a fine of up to $500. Nevertheless, it is rather abhorrent for any political party to want to intrude on private, consensual relationships between adults and drag them into the criminal courts.

  • 4
    Neil says:

    It’s the kinder gentler message of reformed conservatism.
    We don’t want to throw you in jail anymore but we still hate your guts.

  • 5
    Glenn I says:

    “winning is an improved version of losing”
    reminds me of the title of that new book by the straight lady on the societal progress of the GLBT movement – “Victory” she calls it
    winning … victory … a little early for such triumphal terms … still, not denying there’s been real progress

  • 6


    He that condemns shall be condemned. He that hates
    shall be hated  The Law of Love protects those that are persecuted
    from the majority, for wide is the road to destruction, and majorities
    shall go through it.   Xavier. Waltersjudsongroup.com


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