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Republican activists battle over social issues on party platform

By Shawn Price
North Carolina delegates Mary Frances Forrester (L) and Susanne Sellers watch the program at the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa on August 28, 2012. Forrester successfully pushed an amendment to the 2016 platform that calls internet porn a "public health crisis." It was one of several victories for social conservatives in the drafting of the party platform ahead of next week's convention in Cleveland. File Photo by Mark Wallheiser/UPI
North Carolina delegates Mary Frances Forrester (L) and Susanne Sellers watch the program at the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa on August 28, 2012. Forrester successfully pushed an amendment to the 2016 platform that calls internet porn a "public health crisis." It was one of several victories for social conservatives in the drafting of the party platform ahead of next week's convention in Cleveland. File Photo by Mark Wallheiser/UPI | License Photo

CLEVELAND, July 12 (UPI) -- Social conservatives battled over LGBT issues on Monday as Republicans worked to draft their 2016 platform for next week's convention.

The Donald Trump campaign has remained largely uninvolved in the process, allowing activists to work out the issues among themselves. Among the proposals are a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's support of same-sex marriage and labeling Internet porn a public health crisis.

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North Carolina delegate Mary Frances Forrester pushed the Internet amendment and it passed easily.

"The Internet must not become a safe haven for predators," the provision states. "Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children's safety and well-being. We applaud the social networking sites that bar sex offenders from participation. We urge energetic prosecution of child pornography which closely linked to human trafficking."

Republican LGBT advocates failed to stop language calling for children to be raised only by a married mother and father, and were also unsuccessful in stopping an amendment supporting conversion therapy for gays and lesbians.

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Some activists also pushed language against the decriminalization of marijuana for medical or recreational use, linking marijuana to heroin. Delegate Noel Irwin Hentschel said "All the mass killings that are taking place, they are young boys from divorced families and they are smoking marijuana."

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