August 5, 2015 at 6:00 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
RNC nixes proposed anti-gay resolutions

Dave Agema, Republican Party, gay news, Washington Blade

The RNC has nixed anti-gay resolutions proposed by Dave Agema(Photo pubic domain)

The Republican National Committee has nixed a pair of controversial anti-gay resolutions that were proposed for consideration during its summer meeting ahead of the first GOP 2016 presidential debate. The news was first reported by Time Magazine and corroborated by sources familiar with the RNC to the Washington Blade.

Had the measures been adopted at the Cleveland gathering, it would have been the first official act of the Republican Party on marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay nuptials and likely invoked consternation among LGBT advocates as the Republican Party seeks a more inclusive image.

The first resolution, proposed by Dave Agema, urged schools with gay-inclusive sex education curricula to “also include the harmful physical aspects of the lifestyle.” Another measure, sponsored by Ross Little of Louisiana, sought to defy the U.S. Supreme Court marriage decision by urging Congress to pass legislation stripping federal courts of the ability to hear marriage cases and returning the issue to the states. The Washington Blade first reported last week the resolutions were on the table.

Robert Kabel, who’s gay and a D.C. member of the RNC, said “we all were pleased by the result” of the defeat of the anti-gay resolutions. They were defeated during an executive committee meeting, which preceded the full committee meeting set for Friday.

Kabel said the Agema resolution was defeated by voice voice. Although the measure received a second in committee necessary for consideration, the vote was insufficient for approval, Kabel said.

The resolution sponsor, Agema, is the same RNC member who has repeatedly landed in hot water for making anti-gay, racist and anti-Muslim posts on Facebook. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Preibus and former Michigan Republican Party Chair Bobby Schostok have called on Agema to step down and the RNC has censured him, but no explicit mechanism exists to expel him from the RNC and he has remained in his post.

As for the Little resolution, Kabel told the Blade Little asked to postpone his measure until the winter meeting in January, so no vote took place on the measure.

Yet another yet-to-be reported resolution related to transgender people also came up, but failed because no committee member supported it, Kabel said.

As the Blade reported last week, another counter resolution proposed by Diana Waterman of Maryland was also on the table for consideration that would have stated the presidential candidates, not the RNC, should be commenting about the marriage ruling.

Kabel said the measure was raised during the committee meeting, but it was understood it wouldn’t move forward because the other resolutions were defeated or withdrawn

In the days after the Blade first reported on the resolutions, no Republican candidate spoke out to repudiate them, even those that have called for their party to move on after the marriage ruling, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), businesswoman Carly Fiorina and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

According to Time Magazine, only four resolutions were sent to the full Republican National Committee for a final vote on Friday: one condemning Planned Parenthood amid recent controversial videos about fetal tissue, another against President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, a resolution on judicial overreach and a fourth honoring a recently deceased former RNC member.

It’s technically possible for an RNC member to raise the anti-gay resolutions again during the full committee hearing on Friday, but such a move is highly unlikely and almost certain to fail.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Given the bigoted sentiment of most on stage this evening, and most of their supporters, I’m surprised the Family Research Council isn’t sponsoring the debate.

  • And so it begins. I am absolutely convinced that in a couple of decades conservatives will be pointing to the Log Cabin Republicans, GOProud and the Pink Pistols and telling LBGT voters and their families, “See! It was we conservatives who were out there fighting for your rights while the liberals tried to keep you in the closet!”

    I base this prediction on the fact that just about every successful civil rights struggle in American history has gone this way.

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