UPDATED: MT GOP Removes Criminality Provision

Aaron Flint posted on June 12, 2012 08:43 :: 1339 Views

UPDATED JUNE 16th, 2012

I’m not taking credit for this action, however, earlier this week I stated on this blog that the Montana Republican Party needs to remove a plank from their official party platform that supports a law that “declares homosexual acts illegal.” 

As The Great Falls Tribune’s John Adams reports via Twitter, the Montana GOP has now officially voted to remove that plank from the party platform. 


Despite Montanans voting by a 2-to-1 margin to define marriage between a man and a woman, the Montana Democratic Party unanimously endorsed gay marriage at their convention over the weekend.  They have now potentially handed a golden ticket to the GOP in advance of the November elections, especially as gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock’s campaign appeared to endorse gay marriage in remarks to Lee Newspapers.  

I say “potentially handed a golden ticket to the GOP,” because the GOP has a faulty platform of their own.  You may recall back in 2010 when the Montana Republican Party got hit for adopting a party platform which failed to delete an older provision stating, “We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.”

It is one thing to oppose gay marriage, it is quite another to suggest that homosexuals should be thrown in jail, even if the law is no longer on the books and would not be enforced if it were. 

Several insiders I spoke with said the GOP simply failed to update that piece during their past convention.  That could have served as an excuse in 2010, however it will not serve as an excuse in 2012.  

The Montana Democratic Party likely made a huge mistake with their unanimous endorsement of gay marriage in Montana this past weekend.  While the Montana Republican Party made a mistake in past conventions, luckily for them they meet this coming weekend in Missoula.  

Barring a change in their platform, the Montana Republican Party will be damaged in their effort to challenge Steve Bullock on the gay marriage issue.  Bullock is vulnerable on the issue after his campaign appeared to endorse gay marriage in remarks to Lee Newspapers’ Chuck Johnson after the unanimous party vote:

The Democratic nominee for governor, Attorney General Steve Bullock, through campaign manager Kevin O’Brien, said, “Equality is something we should work for, and Steve is proud that Democrats are leading.”

I expect that Bullock is already planning to walk back and “clarify” those remarks once the issue winds its way into the governors race.  The Bullock campaign likely intended to be purposely vague in their response so as not to get beat over the head by The Montana Human Rights Network and others on the left. 

So, will the Montana GOP be able to take advantage of their coming convention, remove the provision that supports keeping homosexual acts illegal, and then spend the next Sunday-Monday news cycle bashing the Montana Democratic Party?  Can the platform even be changed at this weekend’s convention?  I guess we will soon find out.                      

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