Social Conservatives Rule as Texas GOP Opens Convention in San Antonio

As the Texas Republcian Party opens its biennial convention in San Antonio today, a look at some of the platform planks which will be up for debate shows that the social conservative wing of the pary, which dominated discussions in the Legislature in the 2017 session, remains firmly in the ascendancy, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

In addition to boilerplate Republican proposals to defund Planned Parenthood, protect gun rights, abolish abortion, eliminate ‘unnecessary’ regulations designed to fight ‘global warming,’ and cut taxes, proposals include one, for example, to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same sex marriage.

“This opinion violates the Texas law prohibiting same sex marriage in Texas, has no basis in the Constitution, and should be ignored by the state of Texas,” the proposal reads.  The proposal goes even further, calling on Texas to ‘utilize the Tenth Amendment to ‘reject the ruling as null and void in the State of Texas.’

Another proposal calls on the state not to restrict or outlaw what is called ‘Gay Conversion Therapy,’ a generally discredited psychiatric practice, sometimes called ‘pray the gay away,’ that is said to convince young people not to be gay.

Cal Jillson, a political analyst at SMU, says political platforms are for internal consumption, and you have to remember who runs the Texas Republican Party.

“The conventions for both the Democrats and Republicans are meetings of activists, and those activists are on the fringes of their parties,” Jillson said.

Other Texas GOP proposals include outlawing pornography, rejecting any attempt by males to ‘re-identify’ as females and vice versa, and to resurrect the ‘bathroom bill,’ which failed twice in the 2017 session, which would have restricted public restroom use to the person’s birth gender.

Proposals also include one that would require that public schools inform parents that they have the right to ‘opt out’ of having their children vaccinated, and proposals that if Obamacare is not repealed, which the GOP supports, that the state find a way to ‘opt out’ of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Lots of protections based on religion are included in the platform proposals, including one that would allow prayer in public schools, and several which would allow business owners to refuse to deal with customers whose lifestyle violate their religious beliefs.

illson says none of this makes any real difference in the November elections.

“Governor Bush and Governor Perry both used to say that they wouldn’t read the platform and weren’t sure of what was in it,” he said.  “That’s what most elected officials and candidates do.”

There are some interesting proposals in the GOP platform.One calls for deciminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and legalization of medicinal marijuana, including giving doctors the right to prescribe marijuana for any condition.  Another proposal would abolish the property tax, replacing it with a higher state sales tax, as, is it is described in some proposals, a ‘consumption tax.’

There is a plank to abolish the Federal Reserve Bank, to limit Congress from raising its own pay, to privatize Social Security, to require that tolls come off of every toll road in the state once the debt of building the road is paid.   

One calls for the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations, including rejecting ‘World Heritage Site’ designations, to institute a military draft in case of war, and to end all efforts to ‘re-imagine the Alamo’ and Alamo Plaza.

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