Since 1998, the Texas Republican Party Has Excluded LGBTs From Its GOP Conventions

Since 1998, the Texas Republican Party Has Excluded LGBTs From Its GOP Conventions

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Gay conservative group the Log Cabin Republicans were denied entry into the Texas Republican Party’s biannual state convention. They were, in fact, the only group to be denied entry, but nonetheless the Texas Log Cabin Republicans continue to support the party’s stances on most of its political platform.

The State Republican Executive Committee voted, just as it has every time — for the last 20 years — to deny the group a booth at the party’s summer convention.

In a two-hour hearing on the matter, many GOP state delegates opposed the Log Cabin Republicans’ inclusion on the grounds of religious objections, a desire to “keep children safe” and the group’s opposition to the Texas GOP’s anti-gay political platform.

Texas Log Cabin Republicans State Chairman Michael Baker said he’s “disappointed but not surprised” by the vote, adding, “I’d hoped by 2018 we could have been a lot further than we are, but here we are.”

The Texas Log Cabin Republicans chapter reportedly has about 5,000 members.

Texas Log Cabin Republicans State Chairman Michael Baker, image via Big Jolly

Baker says his group agrees with about 90% of the Republican Party platform and that members will still attend as individuals even though the state party wants nothing to do with the group.

Although the 2018 Texas GOP platform has yet to be formed (that’s what the convention is for, after all), the 2016 platform accidentally called homosexuality “ordained by God … and shared by the majority of Texans.” Oops.

While that’s hilarious, the Texas GOP platform also endorsed ex-gay therapy, transphobic bathroom bills and a desire to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2015 same-sex marriage ruling (something the Republican-led state Supreme Court is ineffectively trying to do).

But the party’s remaining platform, with which the Log Cabin Republicans agree, includes opposition to sex education, the minimum wage, women in the military, gun-free zones, any environmental efforts that cost businesses money, a desire to close down the IRS and the U.S. Departments of Health, Energy, Housing, Labor and Education and support of criminal charges for anyone involved with an abortion.

The Texas state capitol building

The Texas Log Cabin Republicans agree with 90% of all that. And the organization’s national chair still calls Trump a pro-LGBTQ president despite all evidence to the contrary.

According to The Texas Tribune, the platform is unenforceable and largely ignored by state politicians. It’s more a reference of how GOP state delegates feel.

But let’s be clear: These social issues serve mostly as red meat to conservative evangelical voters, a way to drain resources from progressive groups and to distract from other business and environmental legislation that might upset voters. The Texas business community has been vocally unified against anti-LGBTQ legislation, lest Texas turn into the next North Carolina and cheat itself out of millions.

What do you think of the Texas Log Cabin Republicans and their exclusion from the GOP convention? Sound off in the comments.

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