From KUT in Austin I heard the following.
The Texas Republican Party has denied the Log Cabin Republicans a space at next week’s state convention. Log Cabin Republicans represent gay conservatives and supporters of marriage equality in the party.
Log Cabin Republican Executive Director Gregory Angelo says the state party denied the group’s application for a booth at the convention because, as homosexuals, they disagree with a plank in the party platform. The plank reads, in part, that “homosexuality tears at the fabric of society.”
“It was our obligation to let the voters of Texas know and to let members of the Republican Party in Texas know that that language is in the party platform and it is being used to intentionally exclude gay Republicans from formal participation in the state GOP convention,” Angelo says.
A state party is not purely a private club. We learned that early in the civil rights struggles for black Texans. In Smith v. Allwright (1944), the Supreme Court ruled on a challenge to a 1923 Texas state law that had delegated authority to state conventions of political parties to make rules for their primaries. It ruled that the law violated the protections of the Constitution because the state allowed a discriminatory rule (no “negroes”) to be established by the Democratic Party. However, homosexuals are not being excluded here per se – in fact, the Log Cabin Rs who were elected delegates will be in attendance and will be voting. They will not be allowed a “booth”.
My own view of this bolded language in the Texas Republican platform is that it is wrong as a matter of fact and deeply prejudiced as a matter of practice. It is prejudiced as a matter of practice because no individual homosexual could be judged upon her own gifts and graces if her self-identification as a homosexual tears at the fabric of society.
The plank will not scare off any Rs in TX. Those who disagree with it will think it is a low priority and those who agree with it will strongly approve. There is a difference of enthusiasm here.
QB noted those of us who don’t think consenting private sexual conduct is a moral issue do so by reason of a libertarian slant. He made the case that while he did not believe there should be legal consequences for CPA sex, same sex marriage was not itself private conduct. This plank morally condemns private conduct and, I think, even status. While codifying this moral condemnation into law is not a requisite, I think it would be a natural result, because it happened historically.
Imagine yourself on the platform committee of the Texas Republican Party. Do you vote for or against this plank? Do you argue for or against it, and if you do, do you argue on moral or political grounds? Do you think it is an important plank or a throwaway?