North Dakota Republicans want you to know they aren't ignorant hate-filled bigots, even though their official party platform characterizes homosexual and transgender people as promiscuous sexual predators who are a danger to society.

No wonder so many Republican politicians don't want to come out of the closet.

Yes, the NDGOP is in full CYA mode to tell the world that, no, really they love the gays and don't view them as deviants unworthy of basic legal protections — even though the party's platform defines them as deviants unworthy of basic legal protections.

"No, no, no. That's not who we are," prominent North Dakota Republicans were tweeting after Forum News Service reporter Jeremy Turley wrote a story highlighting the party's opposition to anti-discrimination laws regarding gay and transgender people. "Even though that's what our party platform, written by us and passed by a majority of our members, says. Even though platforms put in writing the principles and beliefs of our party, and our platform endorses an anti-LGBTQ stance, that's not really what we believe. Really."

They want us to believe the 50-person committee who put together the policy statement and the 900 delegates who voted on it were somehow duped ... by themselves.

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North Dakota Republicans are too cowardly to own their bigotry. They are only backtracking now only because they got caught.

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To be fair, most of the platform reads as if it was plagiarized from a Fox News script by an eighth-grader. In a nod to the 1950s, it questions evolution and urges abstinence education because young people "are capable of controlling their natural desires."

There is no reference to the dangers of reefer madness or womanfolk wearing dresses above the ankles, but maybe next time.

The section outlining the NDGOP's opposition to anti-discrimination laws is especially sweaty and feverish, coming across like a conservative talk-show host or one of their breathlessly thick callers worried about "those people" going into bathrooms or converting their innocent grandchildren into homosexuals.

It's laser-focused on the right-wing obsession over bathrooms and whether a transgender person is only claiming to be transgender so they can get a look at someone else's wee-wee. Oddly, Republicans endorsed honest to goodness window-peeping creep Will Gardner for secretary of state a couple of years ago.

But the real ignorance and hatred comes through when the Republicans paint LGBTQ folks as promiscuous disease-carrying deviants.

"Many LGBT practices are unhealthy and dangerous, sometimes endangering or shortening life and sometimes infecting society at large," the platform reads, apparently a throwback reference to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.

It also accuses them of being predatory by "recruiting" minors for "their lifestyle."

It's abhorrent and inexcusable in every way, yet supported by a majority of Republicans and cemented into their party's policy statement. This is what the NDGOP believes, as much as a few politicians are trying to spin or outright deny it because they don't have the guts to own it.

It's all there in writing. For all the world to see. Good luck getting those well-educated young people to move to North Dakota for jobs.