Over the last two days, Rachel Hoff has considered leaving the Republican Party for the first time in her life.
The think tank defense analyst from Washington, D.C., who is the first openly gay Republican to serve on her party’s platform committee, sat through a slow march of disappointments that led her to that point days before the 2016 convention. Her peers voted down every amendment that offered softened or inclusive language about the LGBT community, instead doubling down on the belief that marriage is between only one man and one woman and other socially conservative positions.
On Monday, Hoff made an emotional appeal asking the committee to replace some of those sentiments with language she had crafted, stating that marriage is a fundamentally important institution and that “there are diverse and sincerely held views on marriage” within the party. “We are your daughters. We are your sons, your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues, the couple who sits next to you in church,” she said. “Freedom means freedom for everyone, including gays and lesbians … And all I ask today is you include me and those like me.” By an unofficial vote of about 30 to 82, the amendment failed.