Republican National Committee votes to keep 2016 platform that calls for ban on same-sex marriage

Platform does not mention anything president has done in first term

James Crump
Saturday 13 June 2020 03:06 BST
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The Republican National Committee (RNC) has voted for the party to keep its 2016 platform unchanged for November’s presidential election, despite it calling for a ban on same-sex marriage and transgender military personnel.

On Wednesday, the party’s executive panel voted for the GOP to keep the same platform as 2016, for the 2020 presidential election.

They voted to repeat the platform, because the coronavirus pandemic has made it impossible for the thousands of national delegates to meet up and vote on changes, according to LGBTQ Nation.

The 2020 platform will continue to oppose same-sex marriage and transgender military personnel, and will support LGBT+ conversion therapy and the rights of businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples, according to the outlet.

References to the Obama administration are also included in the platform, which does not mention anything the Trump administration has done in the last four years.

Jennifer Williams, who became the GOP’s first openly transgender delegate at a convention in 2016, told Politico that policies should have been changed, to reflect America four years on from President Donald Trump’s victory.

“There are a lot of things that could have gone into the platform that maybe could have appealed to more Americans than our party currently appeals to,” she said.

“Anything positive that the Trump administration has achieved in the last three years can’t be put into this document now because this document is frozen,” Ms Williams added.

Terry Schilling, executive director of conservative think tank, the American Principles Project, also criticised the decision, and told the outlet that not updating the platform will make the party “stale.”

Mr Schilling said: “America has changed incredibly since 2016 and not updating our platform to reflect that is an unforced error. The RNC should reconsider this terrible decision.”

He added: “We can’t go into 2020 with the same platform we had in 2016, and by limiting the ability to make changes you run the risk of having a stale platform. It will be tone deaf.”

However, Mr Trump claimed on Friday that no final decision has been made on the platform, and confirmed that he wants to make the 58-page document shorter.

“The Republican Party has not yet voted on a Platform. No rush. I prefer a new and updated Platform, short form, if possible,” the president tweeted.

Mr Trump gave no further details on how or when a short-form platform would be voted on.

The Independent has approached the RNC for comment.

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