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Some NDGOP members upholding anti-LGBTQ statements

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The North Dakota Republican Party has come under scrutiny after anti-LGBTQ statements were found in its policy platform.

Questions on who wrote the statements are still up in the air, but documents from 2018 could at least point us in the right direction.

The 2016 party platform was amended in 2018, and added the anti-LGBTQ statements.

This year, however, that same language passed through the committee without a second look, leaving many Republican leaders shocked and apologetic.

So far, no one has taken responsibility for introducing those statements, but the documents from 2018 show a committee that convened in Dickinson, North Dakota approved its passage.

Party members gather in separate meetings in the four corners of the state to discuss the platform.

In 2018, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric was added during the meeting the lower-left quadrant’s meeting. The committee at that time went as far as to suggest replacing all of the resolution’s previous statements with the new statements, which included language referring to LGBT practices as “infecting society at large.”

Many party leaders have since apologized for this language, including NDGOP Chairman Rick Berg who this week offered his "sincere apology for the inclusion of unacceptable, hurtful sentiments."

In efforts to reconcile with those upset with the party, the executive committee voted to publicly disavow the statements.

But while 11 members voted “yes,” three people voted not to come out against it.

I made attempts to call those no-votes, but didn't have much luck.

Vice Chairman John Trandem told us he had a reason for voting “no,” but didn’t want to disclose it to the press.

Northwest Region 1 Chairman Chuck Walen says he didn’t have time to offer in-depth comments, but says he voted “no” because he disagreed with some parts, but agreed with others.

Northeast Region 2 Chairman Paul Henderson wasn't available for comment, but meeting minutes show he challenged the vote, saying "the motion violated recent rules" and he even recommended "Chairman Berg resign if he cannot adhere to the rules."

In addition, seventeen Republicans upheld the original language, signing onto a letter saying "the resolution is not an expression of bigotry."

NDGOP leadership members involved in the matter are currently either hesitant to accept an interview, have canceled interviews, or are simply not responding.

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