The Republican Party of Minnesota released its party platform last week, and it continues to be the most anti-LGBTQ platform in the history of the state party. The party revamped the platform at the state convention in May and while some sections included major changes, the anti-LGBTQ elements have largely stayed the same.
At the convention, the party decided to split the platform into Party Principles and an Action Agenda. It’s in the Action Agenda that the anti-LGBTQ elements of the platform reside.
On religious liberty, the party maintained its plank in support of denying services to same-sex couples:
We support protecting the right to religious expression for all peoples, including: Public display of the Ten Commandments or other religious displays. Prayer at government events in the name of a specific deity, and Having their religious liberties accommodated if they refuse to solemnize, celebrate, or assist in a same-sex marriage.
The platform maintains the “no promo homo” plank that calls for LGBTQ issues, history, and other education be eliminated. Previous planks called for a prohibition of the mention of “homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgenderism” in schools. That language has been replaced with the term “alternative sexual lifestyles.” Here’s the full plank:
Emphasize Traditional American Values We believe that every classroom should be required to display the United States flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily. In keeping with our heritage, all history classes should include information about the important role religion played in our Nation’s founding, including study of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and other original sources. We should encourage and respect the voluntary expression of religious beliefs and traditions. Specifically,
K-12 public school teachers should not discuss or teach about alternative sexual lifestyles. K-12 public school teachers should teach about sexual abstinence, that premarital sex and extramarital sex is wrong, and that using contraceptives is not safe sex.
The Minnesota Republican Party platform still calls for the elimination of relationship rights for same-sex couples, including a call to amend the Minnesota Constitution to ban same-sex marriage:
We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. Therefore, we: Call on the Minnesota State Legislature to repeal its new laws to the contrary. Believe the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions should be amended to this effect. Oppose civil unions or their legal equivalents. Believe domestic partner benefits should not be publicly funded.
New in the 2016 platform is an anti-transgender plank:
As Republicans, we respect personal privacy, personal property, and the 4th Amendment. Therefore, we:
Support the right to privacy and the right to not share bathrooms and locker rooms with the biologically opposite sex.
In 2016, the Minnesota GOP stripped out a plank that called for the banning of LGB people from serving in the Armed Forces.
As The Column reported last year, the Republican Party of Minnesota platform was the most anti-LGBTQ in party history in 2015. Based on the newly released 2016 platform, that trend has continued.