The Texas GOP’s Extreme Platform

My friends at the Texas Freedom Network have a rundown of some of the more extreme provisions in the 2012 platform for the Texas Republican Party. They did finally drop their demand that homosexuality be criminalized, but they left plenty of crazy bigotry in there:

The attacks on religious liberty are among the most alarming parts of the 2012 platform. Republicans throughout the platform insist that government and public schools promote “Judeo-Christian” values despite constitutional prohibitions against government promotion of religion. One platform plank even dismisses one of the most important protections for religious freedom: “We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state.” (P-14)

Texas Republicans also used their platform to reinforce attacks on public education. Even though state lawmakers slashed billions of dollars from funding for public schools last year, the party platform demands even more cuts: “(W)e support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.” (P-17)

Moreover, the platform supports teaching creationist arguments about so-called “weaknesses” of evolution in science classrooms. And it opposes “any sex education other than abstinence until marriage” (P-17) even though Texas has one of the highest teen birthrates in the nation.

Texas Republicans also doubled down on the religious right’s war on women’s health and birth control. The platform doesn’t just call for a constitutional amendment banning a woman’s right to choose an abortion. It also supports legislation declaring that a person’s life begins at conception, a measure so radical that Mississippi voters strongly rejected it in 2011. Such legislation would effectively bar all abortions, including for reasons of rape or incest, complicate medical treatment for women with problem pregnancies, deter in vitro fertilization and ban embryonic stem cell research. The state GOP platform also supports draconian budget cuts for women’s health care providers like Planned Parenthood and seeks to ban “morning after” pills like Plan B and Ella for contraception as well as RU486.

The party would also roll back important protections for civil and voting rights. In fact, the platform expressly calls for the repeal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as well as of “motor voter” laws and the Help America Vote Act, which are designed to make it easier for citizens to register to vote and help ensure that their ballots are counted accurately. The party also demands that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution be “clarified” so that it reverses the long-established constitutional principle that a person has the right to U.S. citizenship if born in the United States.

Sounds normal for them.

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