NDGOP’s policy platform features anti-LBGTQ statements

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 7:38 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The state Republican Party included anti-LGBTQ statements in its new policy platform.The party votes on a new set of resolutions that reflect its beliefs every two years, and approved the new platform last weekend.

State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, are speaking out against the anti LGBTQ statements made in the resolution. Although NDGOP members have voted down anti-discrimination laws in the past, many said the language in the statements goes too far.

One section read, “many LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large.”

LGBT organization leaders have strong words for state Republicans.

”Their comments are exclusive, it’s bigotry, and it promotes self-hate,” said Magic City Equality Executive Director, Jorden Laducer.

State elected officials are also speaking out against their own party’s platform.

Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., posted on Facebook, “all North Dakotans deserve to be treated equally and live free of discrimination. There’s no place for the hurtful and divisive rhetoric in the NDGOP resolutions.”

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., agreed in a tweet saying, “There is a difference between expressing real, serious policy concerns and expressing disdain for people based on who they love. We need to do a lot better.”

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said in a statement, “it is more persuasive and appropriate to express what you are for rather than what you are against. We should be in favor of ideas, not opposed to certain people.”

But some lawmakers said troubling language in the state Republican party platforms is nothing new.

”I chaired this committee about eight years ago, it was one of the worst political experiences I’ve had. After that I became much more aware of what was in those resolutions and when you read them, even in past years, there’s some pretty far out stuff I did not agree with,” said Sen. Mike Nathe, R-Bismarck.

Rep. Josh Boschee, (D) Fargo, the states only openly gay legislator, says the rhetoric could result in more North Dakotans leaving the state.

”I think this does give the state another black eye because of their lack in wanting to move forward and understanding that we all bring different gifts and talents, regardless of who people love or how they identify,” said Rep. Boschee.

NDGOP Executive Director Corby Kemmer issued an apology in response saying, “The intent of the delegates was to stand up for individual and religious liberties, and, unfortunately, this language falls woefully short. We regret any offense this may have caused.”

But Magic City Equality says the NDGOP platform needs to be amended.

”With the GOP stating that the LGBTQ+ community harms the youth as well as the general public is completely false,” said Laducer.

He said Republicans need to add inclusive language before he can accept their apology.

Kemmer says the Republican Party will be “reconsidering the resolution at a future meeting to bring it more in line with what the delegates were attempting to communicate.”

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