Nice to see young women getting the respect they deserve from the GOP.
Nice to see young women getting the respect they deserve from the GOP. Joseph Sohm /

"Festering" is the word that the New York Times chose to describe the process of writing this year's Republican party platform:

Same-sex marriage and transgender rights are emerging as points of serious strain between social conservatives and moderates who are trying to shape the Republican platform, reviving a festering cultural dispute as thousands of party activists and delegates prepare for their convention.

The short version: the GOP is, as always, run by conservatives who are delighted by any opportunity to attack queers. And queer Republicans are still struggling to insert even the tiniest of concessions into the platform, and claiming victory whenever their own party does not call for their outright destruction.

A leaked version of the party platform is about as miserable as you might expect: "The data and the facts lead to an inescapable conclusion: that every child deserves a married mom and dad," it says. Hahaha, how do "facts" prove that anyone "deserves" anything? And if kids are harmed by unmarried parents, then gee whiz it must be child abuse for single parents and grandparents and stepparents to raise kids.

They also "embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with dignity and respect," but also call for marriage equality to be overturned, so actually they do not embrace that principle at all and are full of shit. There's also a lot of blah-blah-blah about how trans people using bathrooms will destroy the foundation of society.

With language like this, you'd think that gay Republicans would be throwing up their hands in exasperation and wandering away, but no, they're sticking around to volunteer for more abuse. The American Unity Fund is one of the primary groups pushing for more inclusive language, but a gay Republican's idea of "inclusion" is kind of sad. Right now, their loftiest dreams are that the party will say they "respect all families," which is a very nice phrase and will prove as useful as "thoughts and prayers" after a shooting.

Whatever little crumbs AUF is able to beg for, their requests will go to a platform committee filled with people like Cynthia Dunbar, who says that being gay is like being a Nazi; and Hardy Billington, who says that being gay is more deadly than smoking. Then there's James Bopp, who says that Republicans have always defended traditional marriage, "beginning with our opposition to the 'twin relics of barbarism' of slavery and polygamy in our 1856 platform."

But wait — slavery and polygamy are foundational elements of "traditional marriage." Why has the GOP been trying to destroy traditional marriage for the last 160 years?

As bad as this is, the draft version at least doesn't call for a Constitutional ban on marriage, as it has in past years. Instead, it says that states should be allowed to individually ban marriage if they wish.

And a letter circulating among the platform committee refocuses the party's animus from queers to foreign brown people: "Radical Islamic terrorism poses an existential threat to personal freedom and peace around the world and it particularly victimizes women, religious adherents of many faiths, LGBT individuals, and others," wrote Jim Hoff.

Well hey, finally, some common ground between gays and Evangelicals! Congrats, Republican gays, on finding a point of agreement with your colleagues. Just try not to think about how, if you were in the Middle East, your friends at the country club would be the first ones in line to throw you off of a building.