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Jun 10, 2014

Equality NC Responds to New N.C. Republican Platform

Raleigh, N.C. – Equality NC, North Carolina’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, responded today to the North Carolina Republican Party's recently-adopted party platform, which includes some anti-LGBT clauses and removes others.

As Qnotes reported this week, [m]eeting in a statewide convention over the weekend in Cherokee, delegates of the North Carolina Republican Party adopted their new party platform, reasserting some anti-LGBT clauses and softening others.

In 2012, state Republicans’ platform called for support of both state and federal constitutional amendments limiting the right to marriage. But, this year, perhaps in response to the wave of federal judicial victories on marriage equality, that anti-gay opposition has waned slightly. The adopted platform makes no mention of a federal constitutional amendment and now states, “We support the marriage amendment as part of the North Carolina Constitution and encourage all efforts to defend it.”

Other changes, too, softened the party platform’s anti-gay animus. In 2012, the platform said, “We oppose adoption by same sex couples.” That line was struck completely, replaced in a similar section with support for single parents and the line, “We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.”

The newest version also drops the line, “We oppose taxpayer-funded initiatives that support cohabitation, include taxpayer-funded benefit plans for unmarried partners.”

On public school sex education curriculum, however, the party’s platform remained essentially unchanged, calling for government to teach “abstinence until marriage as the expected norm for sexual behavior” and stating, “Public schools should not be used to teach children about homosexual behavior.”

Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro was encouraged by the softening of some language, but called on the GOP to go further.

"Recent moves by North Carolina's Republican Party to soften its stance on LGBT issues, including the freedom to marry and second-parent adoption, directly reflect the dramatic shifts we're seeing in support of gay and transgender equality happening throughout the state and nation. Nevertheless, the GOP's continued fixation on targeting inclusive sex education, including North Carolina's landmark Healthy Youth Act, means not only does its political platform still come at the expense of our state's youngest and most vulnerable gay and transgender citizens, but it is grossly out of step with the values of a majority of North Carolinians -- who we know will always fight for equality when it comes to our state's children."

Sgro added, "Today we join the rallying cry of North Carolinians who support the health and safety of our state's youth to call on the Republican Party to amend its platform, removing, as it has in the cases of marriage equality, second-parent adoption, and non-discrimination policies, any sections targeting gay and transgender citizens and their families in the state they call home."

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