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Log Cabin Republicans President Criticizes GOP Platform

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Mara, I want you to hang in to talk about what's going to happen at the convention. But first, speaking of the platform, I spoke earlier to the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, the big, gay group within the party, Gregory T. Angelo. And here's how he described this year's Republican platform.

GREGORY T ANGELO: In a nutshell, the most anti-LGBT platform in the Republican Party's 162-year history. And I said as much in a statement that we put out last week following the drafting of the platform that included, among other things, opposition to marriage equality, call for a constitutional marriage amendment, an assertion in support of so-called reparative therapy - pray the gay away, a debunked psychological practice - and also no mention in solidarity with the LGBT community in the wake of the most horrendous terrorist attacks since September 11 in the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando.

SIEGEL: But when you say, you know, it's the worst ever, I mean...

ANGELO: That's quantifiable.

SIEGEL: But the Republican platform hasn't been that friendly to LGBT issues in the past, has it?

ANGELO: Well, there was certainly a time when the Republican Party platform said nothing about LGBT issues. And it's interesting, you know? Your listeners might be interested to know. 1992 was the first time this platform ever had any mention of anything having to do with gay people.

Incidentally it was in opposition to open service in the military. This was a year when Bill Clinton was campaigning, saying he would allow open service in the military via executive order if he was elected president. And so you had some pushback by the social conservatives then. But it's not as though the GOP, since its founding or, you know - or for decades and decades and decades has been in opposition.

And recently, recent platforms have only, insofar as they've involved in opposition to LGBT issues - it has been about open service in the military and marriage. That's it. You know, this year we have had so many additional planks inserted that are direct elbows of the LGBT community. It's unprecedented.

SIEGEL: On the other hand, in addressing the issue of same-sex marriage, which the Supreme Court has ruled on...

ANGELO: Yes.

SIEGEL: ...The platform calls for a constitutional amendment. Everybody knows we don't pass constitutional amendments.

ANGELO: Right.

SIEGEL: Isn't that almost as good as saying, we'll live with this?

ANGELO: Well, yes and no. I mean, on the one hand, I'm not losing any sleep at night because the Republican Party platform is calling for a federal marriage amendment. But platforms, while they are albeit symbolic documents, are still symbolic. (Laughter) And if the Republican Party is still obsessed with symbolically or not holding onto a stalwart opposition to marriage equality, it doesn't work to grow the party, and that's what platforms should do.

SIEGEL: Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, thanks for talking with us.

ANGELO: My pleasure. Thanks for having me on. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.