The GOP platform which was discussed at the 2004 Republican National Convention, held in New York City, Aug 30-Sept 2, attracted national attention for its emphasis on issues such as tax reform, national defense, fiscal restraint, education, and especially the focus on basic human rights.
Retaining the language that supports a Human Life Amendment, the GOP platform opposes abortion and same sex-marriage. It also supports President Bush’s policy against using tax dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research.
The platform reasons, “We believe that human life is sacred, created in the image of God. Life begins at the moment of fertilization and ends at the point of natural death. All innocent human life must be protected.”
"As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed… We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life," it continues.
On the issue of same sex marriage, the platform emphasizes that traditional marriage is a legal and moral commitment between a natural man and a natural woman, and that the family is the foundational unit of a healthy society. In that sense, same sex marriage would violate such foundation.
The platform also disapproves to using tax money to support abortion plan. In addition it backs parental notification before teenagers can have an abortion.
Meanwhile, thousands of activists gathered outside the Convention center to protest. They asked for safe and legal abortion, birth control options, the right to privacy regarding sexuality, and a governmental support for stem cell research.
In a demonstration organized by Planned Parenthood, thousands of abortion advocates chanted “my body, my choice” while marching across the Brooklyn Bridge.
While protesting against sexual abstinence, many protesters explained that abstinence is not the way to solve the problems of birth control and abortion.
Thousands of police kept the city under tight security as the convention opened. Normally bustling Penn Station was all but empty of travelers, with police officers posted every few feet.