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At tonight’s caucuses, GOP group will push platform changes on gay rights

The Log Cabin Republicans, who promote a more inclusive party, are taking aim at the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.

Of the hundreds of resolutions that will be floated at tonight’s Republican precinct caucuses, one has particular relevance for the November election: The Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota are pushing a resolution to change the party platform [PDF] on families.

Log Cabin Republicans logoThe Log Cabin Republicans, who promote gay rights legislation and a more inclusive Republican Party, want the Minnesota Republican Party to delete the word “traditional” from its plank on “Strengthening Families and Communities”:
We recognize the blessings that God has bestowed on this great Nation. We also recognize the sanctity of human life and the central role of the traditional family in our society. We work to defend those values in order to strengthen our families and communities.

The group also wants to delete the section titled “Defend the Definition of Marriage”:

We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that the U.S. Constitution and the Minnesota constitution should be amended to this effect. We oppose civil unions or their legal equivalents between same-sex couples and therefore, domestic partner benefits should not be publicly funded.

The resolution takes aim at the proposal that will appear on the November ballot that asks voters whether the Minnesota Constitution should be amended to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The legislation authorizing a vote on the amendment was passed in last year with all but four Republicans voting for it.

Log Cabin Republicans maintain that changing the wording is more conservative than the current platform.

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“If the party wants to take a true conservative position, it must support strong families who pay their taxes and support each other rather than relying on the state, even if they are not wholly one man, one woman, and 1.5 children,” said Ken Smoron, chair of the Minnesota Log Cabin group.

In general, Log Cabin Republicans are a conservative group that, nationally and locally, always endorses the Republican candidate for president and supports the party platforms on such matters as gun rights and national defense. Many are pro-life.

But the Minnesota planks that oppose civil unions and same-sex marriages they see as the antithesis of the Republican small government mantra.

It’s a long journey to change a party platform. First, resolutions must be passed at the precinct caucus level. Then they are forwarded to BPOU (Basic Political Operating Unit) conventions where they must pass before moving on to a congressional district convention. Passage at the congressional district level will get the resolution to the state convention where delegates take a final vote.

Smoron won’t predict the odds of success but said with the marriage amendment in the offing, “it’s a good time just to have people at the caucuses to show their support.”