Nevada GOP Forcefully Defends Removing Anti-Gay Language From Platform

FILE -  In this file photo taken Friday, April 15, 2011, in Las Vegas, Diana Orrock of Las Vegas listens to speakers during a
FILE - In this file photo taken Friday, April 15, 2011, in Las Vegas, Diana Orrock of Las Vegas listens to speakers during a tea party rally to support Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval's promise not to raise taxes. Friday, April 15, 2011, in Las Vegas. Leaders of the loosely organized, sprawling tea party effort say they hope to wield influence in 2012, when both Congress and the White House will be up for grabs. And Nevada, one of the first states to birth a hearty community of tea party followers and the home of the third presidential nominating contest of 2012, is one place where tea party followers hope to make a difference. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

The Nevada Republican Party is fighting back against a fellow Republican who is upset that it removed anti-gay language from its platform, saying the "divisive social issue" has no place in the document.

Last month, the Nevada GOP voted to strip opposition to marriage equality out of its official party document -- a decision that came after "raucous debate," according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Republican parties in only seven states plus the District of Columbia have no mention of opposition to same-sex marriage in their platforms. The move came as polls showed that more Republicans embrace marriage equality nationwide.

At the Republican National Committee's spring meeting in Memphis on Friday, Nevada Republican National Committeewoman Diana Orrock addressed criticism of the state GOP's move that came in an email from Oklahoma Republican National Committee member Carolyn McLarty.

The email from McLarty, which also criticized Nevada's removal of references to abortion, was sent to about 100 RNC members, according to the Nevada GOP. In it, she questioned the state party's loyalty to the RNC. The national Republican Party platform still has language opposing same-sex marriage and abortion.

"The Nevada GOP action to remove marriage and life from their platform is a disgrace," wrote McLarty. "The move does nothing to unify the Republican Party. Republicans will continue to lose elections if we can’t even stand for protecting the most vulnerable lives among us; or for keeping sacred five thousand plus years of natural human sexuality. Both are direct attacks on God and the family."

Orrock responded in a letter sent to the same delegates who received McLarty's thoughts. She also read part of the response at the meeting's Western Regional Breakfast. Her letter said that the Nevada GOP is not necessarily "for" same-sex marriage or abortion; it simply believes that those issues have no place in the platform. From the letter:

Nevada is home to many diverse people, including a very large LGBT population. The GOP is by definition a party of inclusion not exclusion. If we as a political party continue to exclude Americans that agree with our core principles of freedom and limited government, how can we expect to attract new candidates or continue to get quality Republican candidates elected?

Excluding an entire group of American citizens based solely on their sexual preference toward the same gender is not only divisive but in the 21st century it is unacceptable.

The Nevada convention delegates recognized that the inclusion of divisive social issues has no place in our platform, and that an insistence on emphasizing divisiveness will do nothing more than guarantee that we’ll continue to lose elections and never be in a position to support our core principles of freedom and limited government.

The group Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry has launched a campaign to remove opposition to marriage equality in the 2016 national GOP platform.

State GOP Platforms That Have Anti-Marriage-Equality Language

Map created by Aaron Bycoffe.