Texas GOP platform endorses anti-sodomy laws, other controversial positions

Daniel Abernathy Web Developer, NRCC
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The 2010 Texas Republican Party platform, decided last month during the Party’s state convention, unabashedly embraces the far right of the Republican Party. The document, which can be accessed here at the Texas GOP’s website, contains controversial positions, such as support for anti-sodomy laws.

Bryan Preston, communications director for the Texas Republican Party, explained that the Party’s platform is drafted by a committee of delegates to the Texas GOP’s state convention. “The committee meets a couple of days before the convention and meets for a few days on end,” Preston said. He went on to explain that while they look to the previous platform for inspiration, they are more focused on current issues.

When asked about the more controversial aspects of the platform, Preston explained that many of the platform’s provisions are remnants of the past. The statement on the criminalization of sodomy, for instance, emerged as a reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, which struck down Texas’ anti-sodomy law.

Preston also stated that Republican candidates do not have to endorse the entire platform to identify with the Party. Candidates can consider themselves representative of the Party “as long as they identify with the Party’s principles: if they agree with where the Party stands on taxes, where the Party stands on the size of government, and where the Party stands on national security.”

The text of the Texas GOP platform forthrightly states that the Party “oppose[s] the legalization of sodomy” and says that “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.”

The platform also embraces other controversial issues, such as abolishing the Department of Energy and rescinding American membership in the United Nations.

According to the Texas GOP’s rules, a Republican candidate can only receive funding from the state Party if he or she “choose[s] at least 10 line items from the Texas Republican Party platform that the candidate strongly supports.” The Party’s platform is lengthy enough that a candidate could easily avoid associating with its more controversial proposals. Each candidate’s response to the platform is made publicly available through the state Party by request.

Governor Perry’s campaign provided the following statement:

“As Republicans, we share beliefs and values that have made our state the envy of the nation. The governor is proud of the Republican Party’s principles of limited government, low taxes, restrained spending, family values and individual liberty, which have created an excellent quality of life in our state. These same principles have brought Texas to the forefront of the national economy, even during these challenging economic times, and will keep us there for years to come as long as we stay the course and hold steady to these conservative principles.  Governor Perry looks forward to continue working with our state’s leadership to ensure our state remains strong and Texans have every opportunity to continue to prosper in the greatest state in the nation.”