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Gov. Mary Fallin defends Republican platform’s opposition to LGBT rights

Oklahoma governor cites presence of gay people on the platform committee as evidence of the party's inclusiveness

Gov. Mary Fallin (Photo: U.S. Congress, via Wikimedia).

Gov. Mary Fallin (Photo: U.S. Congress, via Wikimedia).

“What we talked about is how can we make America great, and how can we believe in and stand for the human rights of all people, not just one segment, one class, one race, one preference, but for all people in the United States.”

Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.), co-chair of the Republican National Convention’s Platform Committee in an interview with CNN, defending the party’s proposed platform for this year’s presidential election with respect to LGBT rights. Asked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota about the lack of support for the LGBT community in the platform, Fallin adopted the same argument used by conservatives on the RNC’s platform committee: that they did not want to single out specific groups.

Fallin’s interview comes just days after the Platform Committee adopted language that excluded any mention of the LGBT community, even from parts of the platform referencing the Orlando terrorist attack at a gay nightclub. That same committee also approved provisions in the platform that denounce the Supreme Court’s decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized marriage equality nationwide, that support anti-transgender bathroom laws like HB 2 in North Carolina, that support allowing adoption and child placement agencies to refuse to place adoptive or foster children with same-sex couples, and that approve of conversion therapy by stating that parents of LGBT youth have a right to help their children receive “proper treatment.”

The head of the Log Cabin Republicans called the platform “the most anti-LGBT platform in the Party’s 162-year history.”

Fallin, who accumulated an anti-LGBT record in Congress prior to becoming governor, noted that there was a diversity of opinion within the party. The Platform Committee was drafted by 112 delegates with differing opinions on various issues, she said, and received more than 150,000 emails from Republican base voters suggesting planks or language to place in the official platform. When pushed again by Camerota on what she’d say to LGBT people who feel the party platform doesn’t include them, Fallin argued that the party’s core principles apply to all human beings.

“Well, there were gay people who were on the platform committee themselves, and we respect that,” she said. “And we’re an inclusive party, we’re a big tent. There are many different ideas, but the main thing is: we think all human beings, no matter who you are, deserve respect, deserve equal treatment, and should be respected in all that we do, and be protected.”

Watch Fallin’s interview on CNN below:

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story wrongly identified CNN’s Alisyn Camerota as the host who interviewed Fallin. 

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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