The Texas Republican Party adopted a new platform this past weekend reaffirming the party's opposition to same-sex marriage and pornography, while ending calls for criminalizing both practices.
The party platform, adopted at a convention in Fort Worth, differs from the 2010 platform that would have made it a felony to issue a same-sex marriage license or perform a same-sex wedding. But the Texas GOP continues to oppose marriage equality. In addition, the party dialed back its 2010 call to criminalize pornography and strip clubs in the state.
The platform, which lays out the party's principles, is adopted every two years.
With regards to marriage, it reads:
We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists. We call on the President and Congress to take immediate action to defend the sanctity of marriage. We are resolute that Congress exercise authority under the United States Constitution, and pass legislation withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage. We further call on Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify a marriage amendment declaring that marriage in the United States shall consist of and be recognized only as the union of a natural man and a natural woman. Neither the United States nor any state shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse. We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married. We advocate the repeal of laws that place an unfair tax burden on families. We call upon Congress to completely remove the marriage penalty in the tax code, whereby a married couple receives a smaller standard deduction than their unmarried counterparts living together. The primary family unit consists of those related by blood, heterosexual marriage, or adoption. The family is responsible for its own welfare, education, moral training, conduct, and property.
Texas Republicans used the document to reaffirm support for the state and federal Defense of Marriage acts and to "oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists." The platform also calls for the end of no-fault divorce laws in order to discourage divorce, opposes the "assault" on Judeo-Christian family values, deplores human trafficking and supports motherhood.
With regards to homosexuality, it reads:
We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle, in public policy, nor should "family" be redefined to include homosexual "couples." We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.
In the area of pornography and strip clubs, this year's platform does not contain the 2010 demand to outlaw all sexual businesses in the state. Rather, Texas Republicans in 2012 encourage the enforcement of all laws against porn and strip clubs. Strip clubs have not been banned in the Lone Star State.
The platform keeps a strong pro-life stance, including opposition to abortion and support for parental notification laws. It includes a plan to oppose harassment of "pregnancy centers" in the state, but does not outline what a pregnancy center is. The platform also supports fetal pain laws and holding abortion clinics to the same standards as medical offices and opposes fetal tissue harvesting.
The 22-page document hits on a number of other issues as well, including:
- Promoting exotic livestock on farms and ranches in the state.
- Opposing mandatory workers' compensation for all businesses in Texas.
- Supporting deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and abolishing the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Opposing the taxation of U.S. citizens by the United Nations or any international group.
- Opposing "extraordinary medical care," including organ transplants and body part replacement, at taxpayer expense for inmates at state prisons.
- Supporting "swift and unencumbered" capital punishment and the establishment of a state militia.
- Supporting abstinence-only sex education, and opposing foreign-owned charter schools and multicultural education.
- Supporting the daily Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags by students, and opposing the distribution of condoms in public schools.
Read the full Texas GOP platform here.