GOP Platform Committee Begins Work Ahead of Republican National Convention
The work of the Republican National Convention formally got underway Monday, as the committee that lays out the Republican platform on issues ranging from public lands to gay marriage convened.
The Platform Committee peeled off into subcommittees with broad titles like “Restoring Constitutional Government” and “healthcare, education and crime.” The latter involved some of the hottest button social issues such as gay marriage.
Virginia Foxx of North Carolina co-chairs the Platform Committee. She says it’s a matter of laying out core values of the party that will attract a country she believes in center-right.
“We believe in a nuclear family. We believe marriage is between one man and one woman, we believe that the government that governs least governs best, that most things should be left to the state.”
Foxx says she has no doubt that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, shares all the core beliefs.
The continuing debate over same-sex marriage
The platform being shaped this week in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention is expected to include claims that children raised by same sex couples are more likely to have problems ranging from drug abuse to bad grades. It's a premise that troubles even some Republican delegates.
The 2012 GOP platform calls same-sex marriage “an assault on the foundations of our society.” With the Republican Platform Committee not yet sharing updated language with reporters, it’s not clear if the 2016 platform will say that as well.
But from a hotly debated amendment, it’s clear divisions in the GOP over gay marriage exist.
First came an amendment offered by Colorado delegate Justin Everett.
“Where it says ‘Children raised in a two-parent household,’ I want to insert before ‘two,’ ‘traditional….’”
That raised the ire of New York delegate Anne Dickerson, who had lost other battles over same-sex marriage language in a subcommittee meeting earlier.
“This is outrageous to suggest that children of a gay couple are more likely to be completely unbalanced and use drugs in droves and be criminals. This is so provocative.”
Other members questioned if the language insults single parents and the adult children of gay parents as well. But the vote of the 112-member committee endorsed adding the word “traditional.”
The platform committee also shot down attempts to back medical marijuana and to give states more latitude in drug laws.