The Republican Party is saying a lot about transgender people this election cycle, but it has largely steered clear of the controversy that has dogged Donald Trump and the GOP for years.
The GOP’s platform has no explicit opposition to transgender people, but its stance on gay marriage and transgender rights has been relatively equivocal.
In the first presidential debate, the candidates discussed the issue but didn’t directly address it.
That’s been the pattern since Trump took office in January.
“The LGBT community deserves the right to live openly, celebrate their identity and make their own choices, regardless of who is in power,” Trump said.
“And as long as I am president, I will protect and defend our civil liberties, our civil rights and our constitutional rights.
That includes the right for people of all backgrounds to live, work and worship without fear of persecution for their faith or their gender identity.”
He also said the “understanding that people of the same gender are welcome in our country is very important.”
The platform’s emphasis on “equality and opportunity” has drawn the ire of some in the LGBT community, who have long accused the GOP of pandering to conservative interests.
On Tuesday, Trump said he would “support” LGBT rights.
“I will always stand for equal rights, and I will defend the LGBT people who are struggling and are living in a very dangerous environment,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“But we’ve got to be very, very clear that if you have a person of the opposite gender, that’s a different matter.”
Trump also said that “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity” was “a very, I believe, very serious issue that we need to be fighting, and it’s a very, we’ve seen it in the world over the last few years.”
Trump has also said his administration would “exercise the utmost restraint” in the fight against transgender people.
And on Wednesday, he again made clear that he didn’t believe in “gender identity disorder.”
“I’m not a doctor, I’m not going to have you surgically castrate your kids,” Trump tweeted.
“That would be so unfair.”
But his support for transgender rights in the platform is consistent with Republican presidential candidates throughout history, including past GOP presidents.
In 2013, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he supported transgender rights, “as long as it’s not based on a person’s gender identity, because it’s wrong.” “
You know, I don’t think it’s appropriate to make medical decisions on a basis of who’s going to live and who’s not going,” Dole told ABC News.
In 2013, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he supported transgender rights, “as long as it’s not based on a person’s gender identity, because it’s wrong.”
And in 2012, Mitt Romney, who was running for the GOP nomination, told a crowd of LGBT voters in South Carolina that “gender is not a factor in the decision to become a man or a woman.”
The Republican platform’s support for the LGBT agenda reflects the party’s evolving stance on issues of race and gender over the years.
It was a platform that endorsed civil rights for blacks in 1964 and endorsed women in 1984.
It backed the rights of gays and lesbians in 1986.
In 1993, then-Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said that transgender people are “very much human beings who deserve to be treated fairly, and who deserve respect.”
The GOP platform in 1996 also called for “equality in employment and employment opportunities,” and in 1994, it advocated “equal opportunity for all.”
Trump and his supporters have used the platform’s embrace of LGBT rights to attack Democratic candidates for opposing LGBT rights, particularly in the context of the country’s racial and gender inequality.
The platform also called on “government and businesses to fully respect the rights and dignity of every person of color,” including the “rights of transgender people.”
It called for LGBT equality in education and health care, and in 1992, it called for the “complete equality of all people of color” in housing and the workplace.
In 2016, Trump told NBC News, “There is no discrimination against anybody on the gender identity of their gender expression.”
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump also defended his previous position that transgenderism was a mental illness.
“It’s not a mental issue, it’s physical,” Trump argued.
“In terms of mental illness, I have a mental health problem.”
“When I say a mental problem, I mean it’s like when somebody says, ‘You’re not a real man,’ I mean, there’s something wrong with that,” Trump added.
“There’s something that’s not right.
And then I think, ‘Oh, well, I guess I have something wrong, I really do.'”
Trump’s position that “the mental health is not the issue” has long been a point of contention within the LGBT movement.
In a 2009 speech to the National Association of Evangelicals, then–Republican presidential nominee and current House Speaker Newt Gingrich called transgender people