The Republican National Committee is meeting this week to finalize the document that will lay out the party’s vision for the future — which, if the first day is any indication, includes a lot of “traditional” families, conversation therapy, and Bible study.
Though the GOP has not yet issued any formal documents, reporters in attendance at the first day of meetings noted some of the noteworthy amendments in the two planks the committee agreed upon, “America’s natural resources, energy and environment” and “Great American families, education, healthcare and criminal justice.”
Here are six of the most notable planks that the party approved for its platform on Monday:
1. Pornography is a “public health crisis”
The platform committee added an amendment to the platform on Monday declaring that pornography — which currently makes up roughly 12 percent of all websites and 25 percent of all web requests — is a “public health crisis.” The proposal, which passed with little debate, was a suggestion from North Carolina delegate Mary Frances Forrester.
“The internet must not become a safe haven for predators,” the provision states. “Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and well-being.”
“We urge energetic prosecution of child pornography which is closely linked to human trafficking,” it continues.
Meanwhile, the platform committee has not yet addressed guns, which kill more than 30,000 Americans each year.
2. Marriage should still be between a man and woman
Despite having the first openly-gay platform committee member participating in the debate, the GOP rejected an amendment to have a “thoughtful conversation” within the party on same-sex marriage.
“We are your daughters, we are your friends,” openly-gay Washington, DC delegate Rachel Hoff said, fighting back tears. “All I ask today is that you include me and people like me.”
Roughly 30 of the 112 delegates voted with Hoff. The others agreed that they should not remove traditional marriage language from the platform to replace it with support of same-sex marriage.
3. Children raised in “traditional” homes are “healthier”
After discussing the threats of same-sex marriage, the GOP then decided to adopted language claiming that children raised by “traditional” families are better off than those raised by same-sex couples.
“Children raised in a traditional two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, less likely to use drugs and alcohol, engage in crime, or become pregnant outside of marriage,” the platform reads.
The GOP platform reference to the “traditional two-parent household” being best for children has been adopted.
— Molly Ball (@mollyesque) July 11, 2016
Research proves the GOP wrong — a recent UCLA study found that there is no difference in the outcomes for same-sex couple’s children, including their general health, emotional difficulties, coping behavior, or learning behavior.
The committee then moved on to debate language specifying that “children have a natural right to be raised in an intact biological family.”
4. Parents can force their LGBT children to undergo “conversion therapy”
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins offered an amendment in the subcommittee on healthcare, education, and crime to support “conversion therapy” for LGBT children.
“We support the right of parents to determine the proper treatment or therapy, for their minor children,” the amendment said. According to TIME, “Perkins originally drafted a more explicit embrace of the practice, but amended the text after consultations with top RNC officials.”
President Obama has called for a ban on “conversion therapy,” with the White House noting that overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that the practice, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm.
5. Education includes “a good understanding of the Bible”
The delegates agreed that students should be able to take biblical literature as an elective in public schools because “a good understanding of the Bible” is “indispensable to the development of an educated citizenry.”
“We have pornography being taught and offered as literature in Michigan,” says one delegate, in support of teaching Bible in schools
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) July 11, 2016
According to the Dallas Morning News, the debate occupied the most time of any single issue taken up by the full platform committee Monday afternoon.
One delegate who opposed the amendment said that churches should be teaching the Bible and not schools, but in the end, it stayed in the platform.
6. Coal is a “clean” form of energy
After Texas delegate David Barton proposed the addition of the word “clean” to the platform’s description of coal, the committee voted to officially call coal “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource.”
Environmental experts agree that burning coal creates a lot of heavy metals — pollution that’s dangerous for the environment and for the health of vulnerable populations. The Environmental Protection Agency has tried to curb the amount of pollution that coal-fired power plants dump into streams, but the GOP has opposed those efforts.