Political Parties Line Up on Platform Issues Affecting Families

Economic issues are at the forefront of the upcoming Presidential Election, especially those involving families, their wealth depletion and joblessness. Other issues that concern and involve families, however, have also come to the forefront this convention season. This article describes a bit more of what has been happening at the Republican Convention that affects families.

August 29, 2012

GOP Confirms Ticket, Strong Social Issues Platform
by Karla Dial

The Republican Party formally nominated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as its presidential nominee Tuesday, along with his running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, on the opening night of its national convention. Delegates also approved a platform that is the strongest it has ever put forward on social issues — including support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman and recognizing that both states and the federal government have the right not to recognize same-sex marriages. It also states unconditionally that preborn children have "a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed." Read the entire CitizenLink piece here at http://www.citizenlink.com/2012/08/29/gop-confirms-ticket-strong-social-issues-platform/.

Apparently the GOP struggled quite a bit with these issues prior to the Convention. "Republicans working to craft the party's platform before the national convention gets under way next week rejected two proposals on Tuesday which would have changed the GOP's position on marriage. Rhode Island Delegate Barbara Fenton proposed replacing the plank endorsing marriage as the union of one man and one woman with language advocating civil unions for both same-sex and heterosexual couples. "That was discussed and briefly debated," said Gregg Keller, executive director of the American Conservative Union. "That went down pretty decisively, however. The argument that was generally advanced by the people pushing the proposal was the separation of church and state, and the idea that government should not be 'meddling' in these institutions — that they should just get out of it altogether." Read the entire article at http://www.citizenlink.com/2012/08/22/gop-platform-committee-rebuffs-attempts-to-weaken-marriage-stance/.

Delegates crafting the Republican Party's platform also took a strong stance on military issues — including vowing to protect chaplains' conscience rights and enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act on military installations. The platform committee also said the party opposes "anything that might weaken team cohesion, including intra-military special interest demonstrations" — such as wearing uniforms in gay pride events. Those resolutions echo what the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty has been calling on the federal government to do since the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" became official earlier this year.

Both major parties' platform committees are adopting language that defines the differences between their respective voter bases, particularly in regard to how these positions affect families.

The Democratic Party Platform Committee recently drafted an entirely new plank — one that calls for same-sex marriage to be legalized nationwide, and for the longstanding federal law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to be repealed. We will cover more on the Democratic Convention next week. You can access my publications on these matters at the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) at http://ssrn.com/author=183817.

Both parties are nearly polarized on unborn life, legal limits of abortion, protection of the health of women who choose abortion, federal welfare access and requirements for families in need, and other issues involving family fragmentation.

How parties position their platforms on these issues affect family stability and strength. Marriage, child bearing, and raising a family are not in the distant background of this political season, but are proving to be at the forefront of this year's presidential and congressional vote.

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