Out of more than 6,000 precincts, only five passed on caucus night last week a resolution promoted by the Minnesota Log Cabin Republicans to change the definition of family in the party platform.
But the Republican group that advocates gay rights legislation and a more inclusive Republican Party isn’t giving up.
“I plan to get the word out to the elected delegates that they can still submit the resolutions at their Senate district conventions in March,” said Ken Smoron, chair of the Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota. “I am also going to reach out to the SD chairs and ask them to please be respectful of any delegate willing to introduce this at their convention.”
The resolution asks the Minnesota Republican Party to delete the word “traditional” from its plank on “Strengthening Families and Communities.” Log Cabin Republicans also want to delete the section titled “Defend the Definition of Marriage,” which calls for the state and U.S. constitutions to define marriage as between one man and one woman and rejects civil unions.
Smoron says the resolution was offered at eight precinct caucuses and passed in five: precincts 11 and 6 in Minneapolis, precinct 14 in St. Paul, precinct 7 in Burnsville, and precinct 2 in Olmstead County.
Offering a resolution is akin to giving a political speech and can be just as nerve-racking.
“The feedback I heard from the people who did not present ranged from the presenter not making it out to caucus to the presenter feeling intimidated by showing up to a small caucus group they perceived to be long established and unwelcoming to new people and ideas,” Smoron said. But “in two that failed, the presenter was instructed to resubmit the resolution at their Senate District convention, which was appreciated and showed me it was a respectfully run caucus.”
The eye of a needle is a four-lane highway compared to the route a resolution like this must take to be considered by the state party at its convention in May. There must be a delegate willing to present the resolution, first at the Senate district level where it must pass. Next, a delegate to congressional district convention must offer the resolution, and it must pass. Only then will the resolution come up for debate at the state convention as a change in the party platform.
Smoron acknowledges that among Republicans, the resolution is a “divisive and emotional issue” and that even willing delegates need coaching to be comfortable to offer the proposal.
But he is encouraged by the precinct caucus showings. “The fact that it was presented at all gave me a sense of accomplishment,” he said.