The New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters noted that Family Research Council President Tony Perkins contributed “dozens of amendments” to the Republican Party platform “that ultimately got approved.” The platform includes anti-LGBT conversion therapy, “teaching the Bible in public schools,“ and “prefer[ring] a quote unquote ‘natural family’ to the more evolving, modern family.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the Family Research Council as an anti-gay “hate group” since 2010 due to the organization's known propagation of extreme falsehoods about LGBT people. From the July 13 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
JOE SCARBOROUGH (HOST): Jeremy, all eyes have obviously been on Donald Trump, but you've been looking at the platform and the battle over the Republican Party's platform. What's happening there? Does it reflect Donald Trump or does it reflect the conservative base?
JEREMY PETERS: It reflects a candidate in Donald Trump who has pretty much stepped back from most parts of the process and allowed conservative activists, especially socially conservative activists, to take over, and what you ended up with was a platform that encourages teaching the Bible in public schools, it calls coal a “clean source of energy.” It prefers a quote unquote “natural family” to the more evolving, modern family. And it says that women should not be allowed to participate in combat roles in the military. I think it's safe to say, Joe, that this is the most socially conservative platform the Republican Party has ever adopted, and that's in no small part because Donald Trump and his campaign did not take much of an interest in the social aspects of this.
SCARBOROUGH: Was there the belief that if they just turned the platform -- if they just turned all of that over to the social conservatives, that that could possibly something that would keep them at bay throughout the convention?
PETERS: I think that's a big part of it. I think that there are a handful of things, as one conservative activist told me yesterday, Donald Trump can do to really mollify the conservatives who are still suspicious of his conservative credentials. One is the veep, the other is judges, and the third is the Republican platform. And now you have a platform that is basically -- I mean, I described it to one person the other day, as Tony Perkins' platform. Every time I looked over in these meetings, there was Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council huddling with his aides, drafting dozens of amendments that ultimately got approved. And if there's one person's stamp on this platform, I think it's Tony Perkins', not necessarily Donald Trump's. Now that's not to say Trump doesn't have his imprint on this in other ways. It talks about building a wall on the southern border, which is a first for the Republican platform. It talks about destroying ISIS in very bellicose terms. So, his influence is there, but not as much as you've seen with other Republican nominees.