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The new Republican platform is straight out of the 1950s

On topics ranging from pornography to abortion, the 2016 Republican platform takes a sharply conservative turn.
July 13, 2016, 3:40pm
Photo by Nigel Roddis/EPA

In addition to crowning a nominee and dancing under avalanches of confetti, national political conventions are the time when the Democratic and Republican parties draft the platforms that cement their official positions on a range of issues.

The Republican platform committee finished drafting the party blueprint Tuesday, ahead of the Republican National Convention's official kickoff in Cleveland next week. And by all accounts, it's shaping up to look like a manifesto from 60 years ago, taking staunchly conservative views on issues such as LGBT rights, abortion, gender, religion, and even pornography.


Some of the most conservative language in the GOP's platform comes directly from the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT organization which the civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an anti-LGBT hate group.

Republicans approved a measure saying parents should be allowed "to determine the proper treatment or therapy" for their children, according to the Dallas Morning News. This includes "conversion therapy," the controversial practice of trying to force someone to be straight, which is promoted by the FRC.

The platform also takes a hardline stance on gay marriage. It says children raised in "traditional" households with a mother and father are "healthier" (countless studies and academic research say otherwise) and reiterates that marriage should be only between a man and a woman.

The opposition to same-sex marriage was adopted despite tearful pleas for tolerance from the sole gay member of the platform committee.

"All I ask today is to include me and those like me, and not exclude us, by simply acknowledging that thoughtful Republicans represent multiple views on the definition of marriage," implored Rachel Hoff, a delegate from Washington, DC.

Women didn't fare too well in the GOP platform either — it called for overturning various Supreme Court decisions that favor abortion rights, defunding Planned Parenthood, and enshrining constitutional rights for unborn fetuses, according to Politico.


Oh, and cohabitation? Definitely not okay.

GOP platform committee approves plank opposing

— Molly Ball (@mollyesque)July 11, 2016

The GOP's platform is also heavy on conservative Christian ideology. The platform included a provision saying "that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights," according to a draft of the platform obtained by the New York Times. It also called for the teaching of the Bible in public schools as a historical document, arguing that "a good understanding of the Bible" is "indispensable to the development of an educated citizenry."

Republicans also took a moralizing stance toward pornography, which was labeled a "public health crisis."

"We have pornography being taught and offered as literature in Michigan,

— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic)July 11, 2016

When it comes to the environment, the platform calls coal "an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource."

The socially conservative views outlined in this year's GOP platform don't exactly mirror those of their party's nominee, Donald Trump. The twice-divorced reality television star has praised Planned Parenthood, expressed support for gay marriage, and has struggled to appeal to the evangelical Christian wing of the party.

The platform does, however, reflect some of Trump's views when it comes to national security and the general world order. The document takes a deeply critical view toward President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's foreign policy decisions, all under a section titled "A Dangerous World," noted the Times. It also calls for a barrier on the US-Mexico border to halt the immigration of "illegal aliens," according to USA Today. (It does not, however, call it a wall, as Trump does — nor does it acknowledge that a barrier already exists.)

In a direct reference to Trump's campaign slogan, the platform's preamble included a call to "make America great and united again."

Republican delegates will vote on the finalized platform next week once the RNC officially begins.

Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @oliviaLbecker