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California Republicans Shift Stance on Abortion, Marriage-Equality

California Republicans Shift Stance on Abortion, Marriage-Equality

People protesting for abortion and LGBTQ rights

While Republicans in other states have increased their attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, the party may broaden its tent in California.


To the outrage of national Republicans, the California GOP is trying to broaden its appeal by removing language opposing abortion and critical of same-sex marriage from its platform.

In the blue state, Republicans have indicated they intend to broaden their tent ahead of the party’s convention, where the 2024 candidates are expected to speak. By bringing the state’s conservatives into alignment on key social issues with the majority of Americans, including the majority of people in the state with the largest population, they intend to make their party more appealing.

In late July, the California GOP committee adopted a proposal emphasizing “traditional family values” and a “strong and healthy family unit.” However, the committee removed a phrase that said, “It is important to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman,” the Los Angeles Timesreports.

At 71 percent, Americans hold a record-high favorable opinion of marriage equality, according to recent Gallup data. That record was set in 2022 and remained as high in 2023.

In July, with a unanimous bipartisan vote of 31-0, the California Senate passed a measure allowing for a public vote on a constitutional amendment to protect marriage equality within the state. It would enshrine same-sex and interracial marriages as protected rights.

Further, the proposal eliminates opposition to a federally shielded right to abortion but preserves the party’s backing of “adoption as an alternative to abortion.”

As was seen in the aftermath of the Dobbs opinion in which the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices overturned Roe vs. Wade, a significant majority of Californians (as was the case in other states, including red states that attempted to ban abortion) opposed stripping a pregnant person’s right to bodily autonomy and they voted to protect access to abortion in the state constitution.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, more than three in four Californians oppose overturning federal abortion protections, including 59 percent of Republicans.

Former President Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, and other presidential candidates are expected to attend the party’s fall convention, where the draft platform will be voted on.

Last year, the Texas Republican Party explicitly banished LGBTQ+ people from its ranks. It adopted language calling homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice” and rejecting “all efforts to validate transgender identity.”

The Log Cabin Republicans, a group of conservative gay people, decried the move after the group was excluded from the state convention.

Despite the marked progress in the U.S. generally, when it comes to the normalization of LGBTQ+ existences in American society, in recent years, and particularly as the country shifts into the next election cycle, far-right extremists have demonized the LGBTQ+ community, singling out transgender Americans as targets by spreading misinformation about gender-affirming care and conspiracy theories claiming that liberals were trying to make children trans in schools.

The California Republican convention will be held in September in Anaheim.

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