The Republican Party’s platform claims that LGBTQ+ people “recruit” children and “prey” on cis women.
The Republican governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, has slammed his state’s GOP platform for using incredibly homophobic language in regard to the LGBTQ+ community. The platform claims that LGBTQ+ people are “recruiting [children] for their lifestyles” and that trans women are “voyeurs who wish to prey on members of the opposite sex.”
The resolutions, which were voted on and passed by Republicans in North Dakota, go on to claim that “LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large.”
The language used in the resolutions, which is also common on far-right websites, was condemned by Democrats and even some Republicans, like the state’s governor, Doug Burgum. On Facebook, he wrote: “As I’ve long said, 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. We can respect one another’s freedoms without disrespecting or discriminating against the LGBT members of our state and our party, whom we support.”
This isn’t the first time that Burgum has spoken out against his party’s stance on LGBTQ+ issues, criticising the state legislature for failing to pass anti-discrimination measures for the LGBTQ+ community in employment. These measures were only granted earlier this year, because of the Supreme Court decision.
Corby Kemmer, the North Dakota Republican Party Executive Director, attempted to clarify what was passed, saying: “The intent of the delegates was to stand up for individual and religious liberties, and, unfortunately, this language falls woefully short of that goal.
“We regret any offense 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.”
However, some in the party defended the stance taken, with Rick Berg, the North Dakota Republican Party Chairman, saying that the resolutions are meant to protect “an individual’s religious liberty”. He added that he was “definitely not” anti-LGBTQ+.
The resolution was slammed by Josh Boschee, the House Minority Leader, and the only LGBTQ+ state legislator in North Dakota, who told InForum: “Statements like this by the majority party don’t help when it comes to workforce recruitment or retaining the students we educate for 12-16 years. We see a lot of people leave the state because of bigotry like that.”
He added that it was shocking to hear “blatant lies like that in their formal document. I thought the Republican Party had come further along than that.
“This party has a lot of work to do if they want to be a big tent party, regardless of how much power they have in elected office in North Dakota.”