At tonight’s Republican National Convention, openly-gay Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel is expected to say he is proud to be gay—a first for a Republican convention speaker.
Thiel’s speech follows last night’s appearance by Newt Gingrich, who told convention attendees on Wednesday that only the Republican party could keep gays, lesbians, and transgender citizens from being “put to death, as they are today in the Islamic State and Iran.”
But the party’s platform (pdf) this year has been derided by gay conservatives as the most anti-LGBT in history. Ahead of Thiel’s speech, here’s a reminder of what Republicans seek to do, according their platform:
Overturn the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states.
Marriage is between “one man and one woman” (pg. 31), and Republicans “do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states.”
Make it legal to discriminate against LGBT people.
“We oppose government discrimination against businesses or entities which decline to sell items or services to individuals for activities that go against their religious views about such activities” (pg. 32). That includes adoption agencies, and doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals (pg. 37) who “should not be forced to choose between following their faith and practicing their profession.”
Discourage gay couples from adopting children.
Make “conversion therapy” legal for minors.
“We support the right of parents to consent to medical treatment for their minor children,” (page 37) the platform says. That’s “an endorsement of the debunked psychological practice of ‘pray the gay away,’ ” Log Cabin Republicans, the gay conservative group, said.
This platform has incensed some long-time Republicans. In a letter to members after the draft platform appeared, Log Cabin president Gregory T. Angelo wrote “There’s no way to sugar-coat this: I’m mad as hell.”
Thiel’s speech will be closely watched to see how he reconciles his support for the GOP with how little the party supports his rights as a gay man.