N. Dakota GOP leaders back away from anti-LGBTQ platform

North Dakota Republican Party officials are backing away from a horrifically anti-LGBTQ platform that delegates voted to pass in a wide margin earlier this year.

The anti-LGBTQ section of the platform, known as Resolution 31, was pulled from the party’s website as many are calling it offensive and outdated in its claims about queer people.

North Dakota House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, the only openly gay member of the state legislature, called the resolution disgusting.

“Language like this within a formal party’s document does not do anything to make North Dakota feel like a welcoming place,” Boschee said. “The language specifically within that resolution that equates LGBT people to preying on young children or being voyeurs in bathrooms and infecting society is what was disgusting.”

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum tweeted, “There’s no place for the hurtful and divisive rhetoric in the NDGOP resolutions.”

Party chairman Rick Berg said in a statement the party’s executive committee voted to disavow the resolution.

Today, the NDGOP Executive Committee took decisive action to oppose Resolution 31 by voting to disavow its harmful and divisive language. North Dakota Republicans welcomes all those who support less government and greater freedom. As leaders of the State Party, we would like to offer a sincere apology for the inclusion of these unacceptable, hurtful sentiments as part of our official business

NDGOP Chair Rick Berg

The resolution advocates against laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, referring to them as “SOGI.”

“SOGI bills grant protection to voyeurs who wish to prey on members of the opposite sex.”

“SOGI laws empower those practicing LGBT behaviors to assume positions of mentorships of minors often over objections of parents influencing their emotions and thereby recruiting for their lifestyles.”

“SOGI bills seek to pacify those made uncomfortable as a result of their gender dysphoria by compromising the potential comfort and safety of an untold number of innocent individuals.”

“Proponents of SOGI bills routinely advance the false narrative that they ‘just want the same rights and protections [you] already have.’ Every right and protection enshrined in statute applies to every North Dakotan equally. There is no legal remedy against suffering discrimination as a result of the heterosexuality of any given subject.”

“Many LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large.”

This year’s resolution was first included in the 2016 platform and is nearly identical to one that passed in 2018, according to party documents.

Party vice-chairman John Trandem said that he drafted the original version of the resolution in 2016 when he was a member of the resolutions committee. He doesn’t however, know who penned the actual “whereas” statements.

Trandem said he authored the resolution to protect his wife and children from “sex predators” who were pretending to be gender dysphoric to gain access to locker rooms and changing stations, but that he didn’t write the resolution out of hate for the LGBT community.

Trandem was one of two no votes on disavowing the resolution.

A group of at least 17 party members sent a letter saying the executive committee vote was not supported by party bylaws. They said the resolution was not hateful.

Let us be very clear. This Resolution is not an expression of bigotry, and we reject any and all claims that attempt to mischaracterize it as such. As noted in the Resolution itself, “The Republican Party of North Dakota does not advocate discrimination borne of hatred for one’s fellow man.” 

The letter states that, perhaps, the resolution can be further discussed in 2022 at the next party convention.

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