The Republican Party in North Dakota has been condemned by a raft of party officials after it published vile and offensive remarks about the LGBT+ community.
In the party’s extended policy platform, they claimed that LGBT+ people “recruit children” and “prey” on women.
The policy document refers to bills that would advance LGBT+ rights as “SOGI bills”, meaning “sexual orientation and gender identity” bills.
It also argues that advancements in LGBT+ rights would impact adversely on the rights of straight and cisgender people – an argument queer people hear far too often — and goes on to make wildly offensive statements about the queer community without citing any evidence to back up their claims.
LGBT+ ‘practices’ are ‘unhealthy and dangerous’, according to the Republican Party in North Dakota.
“The Republican Party of North Dakota recognises that arbitrary discrimination is best sorted out in the free market which is invariably unforgiving in instances of unwarranted discrimination,” the platform says.
It then claims that LGBT+ identities – or “compulsions”, as they’re described – are “developed” rather than being genetic.
“SOGI laws empower those practicing LGBT behaviours to assume positions of mentorships of minors often over objection to parents influencing their emotions and thereby recruiting for their lifestyles,” it adds.
It goes on to say that legislative advancements in LGBT+ rights will be used to “attack religious freedom, free speech and livelihood of others”.
“Many LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large,” it adds.
“Therefore, be it resolved: The Republican Party of North Dakota opposes the passage of legislation which adds sexual orientation and gender identity to our century code as protected classes.”
Many LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large.
The document has been condemned by both Republican and Democrat lawmakers, as well as Republican governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum.
“As I’ve long said, all North Dakotans deserve to be treated equally and live free of discrimination,” he wrote on Twitter Thursday (July 23).
“There’s no place for the hurtful and divisive rhetoric in the NDGOP resolutions. We can respect one another’s freedoms without disrespecting or discriminating against the LGBT members of our state and our party, whom we support.”
North Dakota GOP regrets causing ‘any offence’ – but falls short of apologising.
Corby Kemmer, the executive director of the North Dakota GOP, said in a statement that they regret causing offence.
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“We regret any offence this may have caused, and we will be reconsidering this resolution at a future meeting to bring it more in line with what delegates were attempting to communicate,” he said.
Democrat Josh Boschee, a gay man, told InForum said the arguments put forward in the resolution are harmful and give the state a bad name.
“Statements like this by the majority party don’t help when it comes to workforce recruitment or retaining the students we educate for 12 to 16 years,” he said.
“We see a lot of people leave the state because of bigotry like that.”
Meanwhile, Republican representative Thomas Beadle, who is running for state treasurer, lashed out at the anti-LGBT+ language on Twitter.
He said the party should be “welcoming to others, not discriminatory against people for how god made them”.
Republican senators Ray Holmberg, Curt Kreun and Scott Meyer said in a letter on Wednesday (July 22) that they stand with the LGBT+ community and would try to change the party.
US representative Kelly Armstrong said the party needs to do “a lot better”and must wipe out “hateful and divisive rhetoric”.