Melinda Fredricks, pictured at right, was elected vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas during its state convention in Dallas last month. Fredricks is a commissioner for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and her husband is the publisher of The Courier of Montgomery County, which happened to publish a story about her this week. In the story, Fredricks responds to recent criticism of anti-gay langauge in the party’s platform, which has made national news:
Fredricks addressed the 2010 state Republican Party platform, which has drawn some criticism for its harsh view toward homosexuality. The platform states that “homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases.”
“Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should ‘family’ be redefined to include homosexual couples,” the platform states.
Although Fredricks admits she cannot speak for the entire Republican Party, she believes the strong statement was a response to an aggressive homosexual political agenda, including an attempt to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and pass laws forcing churches to consider hiring homosexuals. Fredricks said “a large portion of our base is Christian, and we believe that homosexuality is contrary to what God says is appropriate behavior.”
“People feel threatened that their children have to be taught that it’s an equal lifestyle to heterosexuality,” she said. “At the same time, you can’t say people are subhuman. (Homosexuals) still deserve the dignity entitled to them.”
First of all, as horrible as they may be in and of themselves, the excerpts in the story hardly reflect the full extent of the anti-gay language in the Texas GOP platform, which also calls for the criminalization of sodomy and for anyone issuing a same-sex marriage license to be charged with a felony. But in any case, it’s strange that Fredricks recognizes that the Texas GOP platform makes people “subhuman,” yet seems to justify it by saying it’s their own fault for demanding equality. In doing so, Fredricks is not really defending or even explaining the platform, she’s merely regurgitating it. That’s because the platform already includes the following in its anti-gay section:
Family Values – We affirm that this section is a response to the attacks on traditional family values. These include wellfunded, vigorous political and judicial attempts by powerful organizations and branches of the government to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior upon school children, parents, educational institutions, businesses, employees, government bodies and religious institutions and charities. These aggressive, intolerant efforts marginalize as bigots anyone who dissents.