There Is Still Much Party Business To Handle Before GOP's Convention Begins

Jul 12, 2016
Originally published on July 12, 2016 8:01 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the Republican National Convention is nearly upon us - really - when Donald Trump will officially take the reins of the GOP as the Republican presidential nominee. Still, in his last few days before the convention, there's a fair amount of party business to attend to - the party platform, for one, which establishes where the Republican Party officially stands on many major issues. NPR's Brian Naylor is in Cleveland where the delegates are hashing things out, and he joins us now. Good morning.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: And what are some of the big fights this year?

NAYLOR: Well, all of the hot-button issues - hot-button social issues - have been aired out so far. Transgender rights, the so-called bathroom laws, same-sex marriage is a big issue. The last platform, remember, was adopted four years ago, which was really an eon ago in terms of the same-sex marriage debate. It was before the Supreme Court ruling, the Obergefell case, that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

This year, there - the platform committee has its first openly gay member, the delegate from Washington, D.C., Rachel Hoff. She and a few others tried to get language in the platform acknowledging that there are diverse views on same-sex marriage in the GOP. It was voted down. There was another emotional debate over adoption and language in the platform that says it's encouraged in so-called natural couples. That is, a man and a woman. Advocates for same-sex couples felt that that was blatantly discriminatory. And even a delegate who said...

MONTAGNE: Right.

NAYLOR: ...She was a single parent of adopted kids called it a slap in the face, yet that language remains as well.

MONTAGNE: OK. So, Brian, Trump has vocally - been vocal about supporting gay rights, back to that, especially in the wake of the massacre...

NAYLOR: Yeah.

MONTAGNE: ...At that club in Orlando. Any influence on the platform?

NAYLOR: Not that you can tell. In fact, it doesn't seem as though the Trump forces are trying to influence this platform one way or the other. It seems as though both sides are kind of saying, you know, the delegates are saying we'll go our way. We've got candidates further down on the ballot that we have to worry about. And the Trump forces seem to be saying, you know, that's OK with them.

MONTAGNE: Well, in the end, when Trump is the candidate, what will all this platform back and forth mean?

NAYLOR: Well, I think that both sides, as I say, are...

MONTAGNE: Right.

NAYLOR: ...Kind of going their own ways and in the - you know, in most years, the platform is rather ignored anyway and I don't think it's going to be any different at all this year. The nominee, Trump...

MONTAGNE: Brian, we're - we're going to have to run right now...

NAYLOR: ...Will go his own way, and...

MONTAGNE: ...Thanks very much.

NAYLOR: ...All right.

MONTAGNE: NPR's Brian Naylor in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention. This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.