The North Dakota GOP’s Despicable Platform

7 mins read

Even after adopting anti-LGBTQ language in its platform for three successive election cycles, what the N.D. GOP truly regrets is the bad publicity.

Forgive my language, but the denials of bigotry are bullsh!t.

Watching the North Dakota Republican Party’s leadership twist its fingers in knots pointing at … well … no one … for the disgusting, bigoted, anti-human language in its 2020 platform has been almost amusing. Almost, because the anti-LGBTQ language and people who approved it are so despicable there’s no humor in any of it. 

By now, nearly everyone who pays any attention to politics knows what the language stated. It would be hard not to, given that it’s been covered by news outlets from a local TV station to LGBTQ Nation.

No matter who’s reported on it, it’s a bigoted resolution.

What N.D. GOP Members Approved 

The demeaning language appeared in Resolution 31 of the N.D. GOP’s 2020 platform, titled, “In Opposition to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Anti-Discrimination Bills.” According to HuffPost, “More than 700 state GOP delegates voted on this language in April, with the full platform approved 621-139.”

Here are a couple of the vile “whereases”:

“WHEREAS: research has shown that causes of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) compulsions are primarily developmental and not genetic as in color and gender; and

“WHEREAS: SOGI bills open the door for non-gender dysphoric individuals to exploit the opportunity to enter opposite sex facilities for purposes other than those for which they were designed, which may be impossible to detect or identify with any certainty; and

“WHEREAS: SOGI bills grant protection to voyeurs who wish to prey on members of the opposite sex; and …”

“Compulsions … dysphoric … exploit … prey on … voyeurs …”

Clearly, these are not words of the inclusion the N.D. GOP claims to embrace. 

Ahhh … Ummm … Well, maybe … I think …

One of the state’s newspapers reported on the bigoted statements in Resolution 31. And the non-finger pointing began.

HuffPost’s headline beautifully captures the ensuing antics of the N.D. GOP’s leadership:

“North Dakota GOP’s Platform Is So Anti-LGBTQ Nobody Will Say Who Wrote It.”

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum denounced the language, the party’s chair, Rick Berg, said he was “sorry,” Corby Kemmer, the N.D. GOP’s executive director, expressed “regrets,” and the state’s all-GOP Congressional delegation “… said they were disappointed the rhetoric was included in a party document.”

I’ll just bet they were.

Forgive me for my language, but N.D. GOP’s assertion that it regrets the language and what it represents is a huge, stinking pile of BULLSH!T. 

First off, I defy anyone to tell me with a straight face that over the past four years not a single member of the Executive Committee has read the party platform. If they didn’t read it before voting on it, they were derelict.

Given that, logic dictates we accept the next conclusion, that the Platform Committee and Executive Committee agreed with the language.

And, finally, literally hundreds of N.D. GOP delegates voted on variations of these statements not once, not twice, but THREE times, in 2016, 2018 and now 2020. And APPROVED them each time. Again, don’t try to tell me with a straight face that 621 delegates were clueless about what they were voting on.

I simply do not buy the effort to paint this as some kind of big mistake, simply the result of poor communication or some kind of misunderstanding that, now that it’s been pointed out, the party regrets. 

What the N.D. GOP leaders truly regret is the bad publicity.

They Meant What They Said

After the N.D. GOP Executive Committee voted to disavow and remove the horrific resolution, 17 Republicans who served on the Regional and Statewide NDGOP Resolutions Committee reasserted their support for the language.

“Let us be clear,” the Resolutions Committee members wrote. “This Resolution is not an expression of bigotry, and we reject any and all claims that attempt to mischaracterize it as such.”

If Resolution 31 was not an “expression of bigotry,” it’s hard to imagine what the letter’s signers might consider one.

The fact is, platform resolutions represent what the majority of party members believe and support. The rest of us have no reason to believe that is not the case here.

Deep Red Denial

To its credit, the N.D. Democratic-Non-Partisan League called the GOP leadership on all of this, specifically Gov. Doug Burgum, who the Dem-NPL said should commit to withholding financial support for any Republican candidate who refuses to repudiate the anti-LGBTQ sentiment.

That won’t happen. Not in North Dakota in 2020.

This state is deep, deep, DEEP red; 76 percent of the state’s citizens identify as Republicans, according to the Pew Research Center. It’s redder’n blood, which is what you risk spilling if you “stand up, speak up and speak out” for liberal or progressive ideas and ideals, as the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rep. John Lewis admonished us to do.

So this is what we on the left live with and among in North Dakota, and have been for decades. Sadly, even as we condemn beliefs like those expressed openly by the N.D. GOP, we’re not the least bit surprised.

Featured graphic:  Outline of North Dakota by alvindom via Shutterstock; GOP elephant by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixaby; combined graphic by IV Words.

Posted with permission from Martin C. Fredericks IV,

To read more by Martin C. Fredricks IV, follow his blog, IV Words.

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Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV is a husband, father of three, proud Fargoan (N.D.), small business owner, reader, writer and progressive. He's also the founder of the IV Words Blog ( Finally, he's a ginger; ergo the “Red.” Living blue in a deep red state is tough, but somehow, day by day, he gets by.

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