As if Republicans don't have enough to fight about already, a bunch of rich gays/allies are poking their rainbow noses into the party platform, trying to get the party to be ever-so-slightly less dreadful. Will they be successful? Not if a bunch of bigots have anything to say about it!
Right now the GOP seems a bit like an old sweater that got pulled out of a trunk only to find that over the decades moths have eaten huge holes in it, and it's starting to unravel. Pick at one strand and a whole sleeve falls off.
It's a little unclear exactly how far these shadowy queer activists are trying to push the party — all we have to go on is a report from Politico that the "American Unity Fund" has been dispatching lobbyists to nudge convention delegates about gay marriage. The American Unity Fund was set up a few years ago to try to drag Republicans, kicking and screaming, into the current century on LGBT equality. Also on their agenda is slowly pushing an enormous boulder up a hill for all of eternity.
American Unity staffers, according to Politico, have been liquoring up various Republican party officials and preparing for the Republican National Committee meeting later this spring in Florida. They have a whole campaign apparatus in place to steer Republicans toward ... what, exactly? That's unclear. Something-something-something pro-gay-marriage.
"We need to be inclusive," said a spokeswoman.
Inclusive? That's sissy stuff, and Tony Perkins won't stand for it. Perkins runs the Family Research Council — basically a nonprofit that exists to try scare people about anything that's not good for straight white Christian men — and he also sits on the GOP's platform committee.
That probably explains why the last platform, drafted in 2012, was crazily anti-queer. It called for amending the U.S. Constitution to ban marriage for same-sex couples. I wrote a whole book about marriage equality that included a section on the brave organizers who fought back against this terrible idea in the '90s, and the fact that Republicans are still pushing it 20 years later is just mind-boggling.
In any case, the American Unity Fund is tracking every single one of the 112 slots for Platform Committee members, nudging the more socially-progressive candidates to run for a position. A big component of their pitch is that the party has to accept that gays can get married if they want to be relevant in the future.
Pushing back just as hard though is Phyllis Schlafly, a 91-year-old who's spent nearly a century making life miserable for anyone she doesn't approve of. (She says gay marriage violates her free speech, feminism is destructive, the usual villainous blah-blah.)
Phyllis has her talons deep in the party, and she's a pretty perfect symbol of the GOP: hailing from a bygone era, steadfastly opposed to progress, and with any luck not likely to be bothering us much longer.