The Democratic Party’s views on marriage, family, and gender

Democrats celebrate America’s history of religious pluralism and tolerance, and recognize the countless acts of service of our faith communities, as well as the paramount importance of maintaining the separation between church and state enshrined in our Constitution.

This completes my review of the Democratic platform’s positions on health and related issues. The Republican platform review was posted a few days ago. If you’ve been following so far, you’ve noticed differences and a few similarities in their stances.

These final two posts show the widest points of differences between the two major parties, probably because these issues reflect the widest differences in our American society-views on marriage, family, reproduction, and sexuality.

As you read all the posts, and especially these two, you may react to positions positively or negatively, but I hope you will also consider carefully why you agree or disagree and why others think the way they do.

Remember the Republican platform was written in 2016 and the Democratic platform in 2020. Much has happened in the past 2-6 years including a presidential election, widespread demonstrations across the country including an assault on the nation’s Capitol building, challenges to voting procedures, a novel viral pandemic, unemployment, inflation, and a new war in Europe. And after 50 years, the reversal of Roe vs. Wade, has prompted challenges and changes in reproductive law across the country.

I have not included every mention of these topics as they are numerous and scattered throughout the platforms. Some are redundant. Many are statements of belief but do not propose any specific action.

The topic headings match those in the platforms so you can easily reference the original document. I have also included outside links for clarification and context.

I hope you will take the time to read the full text of both platforms before the midterm elections on November 8, 2022.

Supporting Faith and Service

Religious freedom is a core American value and a core value of the Democratic Party. Democrats will protect the rights of each American for the free exercise of his or her own religion. It will be the policy of the Democratic Administration to advocate for religious freedom throughout the world.

Democrats celebrate America’s history of religious pluralism and tolerance, and recognize the countless acts of service of our faith communities, as well as the paramount importance of maintaining the separation between church and state enshrined in our Constitution.

Democrats will

reject the Trump Administration’s use of broad religious exemptions to allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies, and others to discriminate.

increase funding and support for security investments and protection at houses of worship.

will confront white nationalist terrorism and combat hate crimes perpetrated against religious minorities.

Protecting Women’s Rights

Democrats will

fight to guarantee equal rights for women, including by ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and at long last enshrining gender equality in the U.S. Constitution.

take aggressive action to end pay inequality, including by increasing penalties against companies that discriminate against women and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Democrats are committed to ending sexual assault, domestic abuse, and other violence against women, including the epidemics of violence against Native American women and transgender women of color.

Democrats believe every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion.

We will

oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to women’s reproductive health and rights, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment and protecting and codifying the right to reproductive freedom.

take action to protect the rights of pregnant women in the workplace, including by requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers and those who have recently given birth and enacting paid sick days and universal paid family and medical leave.

Protecting LGBTQ+ Rights

Democrats applaud this year’s (2020) U.S. Supreme Court decision that made clear that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity violates the law, but we know we still have work to do to ensure LGBTQ+ people are treated equally under the law and in our society.

We will

fight to enact the Equality Act and at last outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in housing, public accommodations, access to credit, education, jury service, and federal programs.

work to ensure LGBTQ+ people are not discriminated against when seeking to adopt or foster children,

protect LGBTQ+ children from bullying and assault, and

guarantee transgender students’ access to facilities based on their gender identity.

ensure federally funded programs for older adults are inclusive for LGBTQ+ seniors.

Recognizing that LGBTQ+ youth and adults suffer from significant health disparities, including mental health and substance use disorders, Democrats will expand mental health and suicide prevention services, and ban harmful “conversion therapy” practices.

We will

ensure that all transgender and non-binary people can procure official government identification documents that accurately reflect their gender identity.

stop employment discrimination in the federal government, and will restore full implementation of President Obama’s executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Democrats are committed to ending the homelessness crisis, including among LGBTQ+ youth. We will fight to end violence against transgender Americans and particularly against Black transgender women, who are disproportionately victims of assault and homicide, and will prioritize the investigation of hate crimes against transgender and non-binary people.

Securing Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion.

We will repeal the Title X domestic gag rule and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides vital preventive and reproductive health care for millions of people, especially low-income people, and people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, including in underserved areas.

Democrats will

fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to reproductive health and rights.

will repeal the Hyde Amendment, and protect and codify the right to reproductive freedom.

We condemn acts of violence, harassment, and intimidation of reproductive health providers, patients, and staff.

We will

address the discrimination and barriers that inhibit meaningful access to reproductive health care services, including those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, income, disability, geography, and other factors.

oppose restrictions on medication abortion care that are inconsistent with the most recent medical and scientific evidence and that do not protect public health.

We recognize that quality, affordable comprehensive health care; medically accurate, LGBTQ+ inclusive, age-appropriate sex education; and the full range of family planning services are all essential to ensuring that people can decide if, when, and how to start a family. We are proud to be the party of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination in health care on the basis of sex and requires insurers to cover prescription contraceptives at no cost. These efforts have significantly reduced teen and unintended pregnancies by making it easier to decide whether, when, and how to have a child.

We believe that a person’s health should always come first. Democrats will protect the rights of all people to make personal health care decisions, and will reject the Trump Administration’s use of broad exemptions to allow medical providers, employers, and others to discriminate.

Protecting LGBTQ+ Health

We condemn the Trump Administration’s discriminatory actions against the LGBTQ+ community, including the dangerous and unethical regulations allowing doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to discriminate against patients based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Democrats will

reverse this rulemaking and restore nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS in health insurance, including coverage of all medically necessary care for gender transition.

take action to guarantee that LGBTQ+ people and those living with HIV/AIDS have full access to needed health care and resources, including by requiring that federal health plans provide coverage for HIV/AIDS testing and treatment and HIV prevention medications like PrEP and PEP, gender confirmation surgery, and hormone therapy.

Democrats support increased community HIV prevention and testing programs which target Latino, Black, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Native American, and other at-risk communities to address the increases of HIV. Democrats will recommit the federal government to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025.

Democrats are proud that the Obama-Biden Administration lifted the discriminatory lifetime ban on blood donation by healthy gay and bisexual Americans. We will work to ensure blood donation regulations are based on science, not fiction or stigma and that no American, when seeking to donate blood, will face more stringent limitations than any other simply because of who they are.

Supporting High-Quality K-12 Schools Across America

Democrats are committed to safe and supportive school climates for students and educators alike.

Democrats also believe that all schools should have adequate resources to expand school-based health services and hire guidance counselors, social workers, nurses, and school psychologists to help support students’ mental health needs, address trauma, and promote social and emotional development.

Democrats will

make sure schools do not engage in, and appropriately address, discrimination, bullying and harassment related to sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity; race; national origin; immigration or citizenship status; religion; disability; and language status.

protect the rights of transgender students.

The Democratic Party Platform

exploring the HEART of voting

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Dr Aletha

How the Democratic and Republican party platforms differ

The platforms read and sound different in tone and emphasis. I think the Democratic platform can be likened to a “campaign speech” while the Republican document sounds more like a “state of the union” message.

We’ve been looking at how the Democratic and Republican parties differ in views on healthcare by reviewing specific points in the party platforms. In this post I’m going to step away from looking at specifics and share my general observations about the platforms themselves.

I’m mostly highlighting differences, because the platforms are as different as the parties are-one conservative, one liberal. They both of course claim to love America and democracy and want to defend and preserve and improve our way of life. But the way they want to do so is as different as RED is from BLUE.

I intend for these posts to be non-partisan but because I’m sharing my own observations this one may look more like an opinion. I’m using these posts for my own education as well as yours, so we can be better informed and inspired voters.

I have been a registered voter since I was 18, being one of the first to benefit from the 26th Amendment that changed the voting age from 21 years to 18 years.

I have been registered with both major parties and have voted for candidates in both parties, so I have no allegiance to either one. If these observations seem biased, it is strictly unintentional. So let’s take a look.

Note: I chose the photos for illustration, they are not affiliated with either party.

When were the platforms written?

Usually platforms are written or revised on the years the parties meet for the convention that nominates the presidential candidate.

Republicans

The Republicans last did that in 2016 when Donald Trump was nominated and won the election. In 2020 when he ran for reelection during the COVID pandemic, they deferred writing a new platform citing

“strict restrictions on gatherings and meetings, and out of concern for the safety of convention attendees and our hosts;” and “in appreciation of the fact that it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement.”

It went on to state

“The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and the Republican Party and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.”

RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention.”

The RNC also passed a resolution in 2022 “reaffirming” its commitment to the platform”.

Democrats

In 2020 the Democrats held a convention, conducted mostly virtually, and wrote a new party platform.Their candidate Joe Biden won the presidential election. According to their website,

“Every four years, Democrats from across the country join together to craft our party’s platform.The platform is created to uplift working people and write out the values that will guide our party for years to come.”

The platform was considered by the 2020 Platform Committee at its meeting on July 27, 2020, and was approved by the Democratic National Convention on August 18, 2020.

How long is the platform?

The Democrats take first place for length. As a PDF document, 86 pages are devoted to text. There are 11 sections, most of which are also divided into different categories.

The Republican document is brief in comparison, 58 pages, divided into 6 sections.

Key differences in content of the platform

The platforms read and sound different in tone and emphasis. I think the Democratic platform can be likened to a “campaign speech” while the Republican document sounds more like a “state of the union” message.

Democrats – the party of change

  • “Campaign speech”
  • Action oriented
  • Problem specific
  • Future directed
  • Diversity, inclusivity
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Republicans- the party of stability

  • “State of the union”
  • Policy oriented
  • Maintain the status quo
  • General concepts
  • Build on the past
  • Conformity, consistency

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

What do the platforms say about the other party?

Both of the platforms comment on the other party unfavorably multiple times.

Written in 2016 during the presidency of Democrat Barack Obama, the Republican platform was repeatedly critical of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, otherwise known as ObamaCare, as well as other aspects of President Obama’s administration.

The President (Obama) and the Democratic Party have dismantled Americans’ system of healthcare. They have replaced it with a costly and complicated scheme that limits choices and takes away our freedoms.

The President and the Democratic party have abandoned their promise of being accountable to the American people.

Written in 2020, the Democratic platform opened with scathing criticism of President Trump’s management of the pandemic, and continued throughout the document on other issues.

The bill has come due on the Trump Administration’s hollowing out of our public institutions: the sidelining of experts, the rejection of science, the underinvestment in research, and the gross corruption and abuses of power.

President Trump’s dereliction of duty has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans, the loss of tens of millions of American jobs, and lasting harm to our children’s education and future.

Most of the criticisms are then followed by how or what their party and candidate will do differently.

What do the platforms say about social issues?

You don’t have to read the platforms to know that Democrats and Republicans differ drastically on social issues such as marriage, reproduction, abortion, schools, immigration, religion, and sexuality. The aftermath of the recent (2022) Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe vs. Wade shows that pointedly. These differences are spelled out in the platforms but each party approaches them from different angles, not categorizing them the same way.

I will devote additional posts to these topics. On some of them one platform says more than the other so the content will not exactly parallel. I’ll do my best to lay out both sides, but encourage you to do your homework and review the entire platforms.

exploring the HEART of health

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Please do follow the above links to the party platforms, bookmark them, and refer to them as the season of primaries closes and we approach national election day, Tuesday November 8. We won’t elect a new president but the choice of a new legislative branch of government is just as important.

See you at the polls.

Dr Aletha

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
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