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2020 U.S. Presidential Platforms - What do they say about Families?

In 2016 we shared what each presidential platform stated about families and given the upcoming election we want to update our post with the latest information.  There are significant differences between the presidential candidates, and their platforms explain some of the vehemence with which many defend or attack the 2020 candidates.  Since this blog focuses primarily on the impact of the law on families and family conflict, we will concentrate on only one portion of the presidential platforms:

How does each 2020 U.S. Presidential Platform address families in America?

While in 2016 we indicated that we did not endorse any candidate officially, and we provided the platforms in no particular order, in this election the author (Justin Kelsey) cannot, in good conscience make the same statement.  The republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, has failed to represent equality, freedom, and human rights for all individuals and families in America and he has expressed opinions about power and elections that threaten the democratic process itself.  I, therefore, support Joe Biden for President in the 2020 election.

With that being said we are providing this information directly from the sources with links to the full platforms, specifically so you can decide for yourselves (and we encourage all eligible voters to vote in the election):

The 2016 Democratic Party Platform mentions the words "family" or "families" 121 times, the words "child" or "children" 99 times, the words "gay", "lesbian", and "LGBT" 37 times, and the word "transgender" 15 times.   The Democratic party platform uses the word "marriage" once.

Below are some of the excerpts from the Democratic party platform's discussions relevant to families:

Excerpt from "Enacting Robust Work-Family Policies":

Democrats will implement paid sick days and a high-quality, comprehensive, and inclusive paid family and medical leave system that protects workers from the unfair choice between attending to urgent health or caretaking needs and earning a paycheck. We will fight to ensure workers are guaranteed at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers and family units, to enable new parents to recover from childbirth and bond with their newborns, foster or adopted children, and allow all workers to take extended time off to care for themselves or ailing loved ones.

 Excerpt from "Democracy and Human Rights"

Democrats will advance the ability of all persons to live with dignity, security, and respect, regardless of who they are or who they love. We will restore the United States’ position of leadership on LGBTQ+ issues by passing the GLOBE Act and appointing senior leaders directly responsible for driving and coordinating LGBTQ+ issues at the State Department, USAID, and the National Security Council. We will ensure that our immigration policies account for the needs of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers, and that we use the full slate of human rights promotion and accountability tools to defend the universal rights of LGBTQ+ people. We will amplify the voices of LGBTQ+ persons around the world and counter violence and discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons wherever it appears.

Excerpt from "Protecting American and Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic"

In states and cities across the country, too many parents are being forced to choose between keeping their jobs and keeping their children safe. Democrats believe that making child care affordable and widely available is essential to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. We will provide funding to stabilize the sector and ensure child care and educational settings are able to meet the highest possible public health and worker safety standards to protect the health of care workers, children, parents, and the broader community.

Excerpt from "Securing Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice"

Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. We will repeal the Title X domestic gag rule and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides vital preventive and reproductive health care for millions of people, especially low-income people, and people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, including in underserved areas.

 Excerpt from "Protecting Women’s Rights"

Democrats will fight to guarantee equal rights for women, including by ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and at long last enshrining gender equality in the U.S. Constitution. We will take aggressive action to end pay inequality, including by increasing penalties against companies that discriminate against women and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act. Democrats are committed to ending sexual assault, domestic abuse, and other violence against women, including the epidemics of violence against Native American women and transgender women of color.

Excerpt from "Protecting LGBTQ+ Rights"

Democrats applaud this year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that made clear that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity violates the law, but we know we still have work to do to ensure LGBTQ+ people are treated equally under the law and in our society. We will fight to enact the Equality Act and at last outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in housing, public accommodations, access to credit, education, jury service, and federal programs. We will work to ensure LGBTQ+ people are not discriminated against when seeking to adopt or foster children, protect LGBTQ+ children from bullying and assault, and guarantee transgender students’ access to facilities based on their gender identity. Democrats will ensure federally funded programs for older adults are inclusive for LGBTQ+ seniors.

Read the full 2020 Democratic Platform here.


The 2020 Republican Party Platform was not updated from the 2016 platform. The platform mentions the words "family" or "families" 71 times, the words "child" or "children" 50 times, the word "marriage" 19 times.  The Republican party platform never uses the words "gay", "lesbian", "LGBT", or "transgender" despite referencing "traditional marriage" repeatedly.

Below are some of the excerpts from the Republic party platform's discussions relevant to families:

Excerpt in "Defending Marriage Against an Activist Judiciary":

Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values.... We, therefore, support the appointment of justices and judges who respect the constitutional limits on their power and respect the authority of the states to decide such fundamental social questions.

Excerpt in "The Fifth Amendment: Protecting Human Life"

The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can 'be deprived of life, liberty or property' deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that 'all' are 'endowed by their Creator' with the inalienable right to life. Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth... We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from individuals with disabilities, newborns, the elderly, or the infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Excerpt from "Marriage, Family, and Society"

Foremost among those institutions is the American family. It is the foundation of civil society, and the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of one man and one woman... Children raised in a two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, more likely to do well in school, less likely to use drugs and alcohol, engage in crime or become pregnant outside of marriage. We oppose policies and laws that create a financial incentive for or encourage cohabitation. Moreover, marriage remains the greatest antidote to child poverty...
The data and the facts lead to an inescapable conclusion: Every child deserves a married mom and dad... Our laws and our government’s regulations should recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman and actively promote married family life as the basis of a stable and prosperous society. For that reason, as explained elsewhere in this platform, we do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states. We oppose government discrimination against businesses or entities which decline to sell items or services to individuals for activities that go against their religious views about such activities.

Excerpt from "Choice in Education"

We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with sexual
risk avoidance education that sets abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior. That approach — the only one always effective against premarital pregnancy and sexually-transmitted disease — empowers teens to achieve optimal health outcomes. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referral or counseling for abortion and contraception and believe that federal funds should not be used in mandatory or universal mental health, psychiatric, or socio-emotional screening programs.

Read the full 2020 Republican Platform here.


The 2020 Green Party Platform mentions the words "child" or "children" 58 times, the words "family", or "families" 52 times,  the word "marriage" 3 time, the words "gay", "lesbian", or "LGBT" 9 times, and the word "transgender" 2 times.

Below are some of the excerpts from the Green party platform's discussions relevant to families:

Excerpt from "Families and Children"

A universal, federally funded childcare program for pre-school and young schoolchildren should be developed.

Excerpt from "Foreign Policy: Women's Rights"

The Green Party makes a strong and urgent call for U.S. passage of CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and ratified by 173 countries. It is also known as the Women's Convention, the Women's Bill of Rights, and an International Bill of Rights for Women. The United States is one of a very few countries and the only industrialized nation that has not ratified it.

Excerpt from "Civil Rights and Equal Rights: Women's Rights"

Democracy cannot work without equality for women, which provides equal participation and representation. It took an extraordinary and ongoing fight over 72 years for women to win the right to vote. However, the Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923, has still not been ratified by 2012, representing a continuous struggle of 87 years with no victory in sight. We believe that equality should be a given, and that all Greens must work toward that end.

Excerpt from "Reproductive Rights"

Women's right to control their bodies is non-negotiable. It is essential that the option of a safe, legal abortion remains available. The "morning-after" pill must be affordable and easily accessible without a prescription, together with a government-sponsored public relations campaign to educate women about this form of contraception. Clinics must be accessible and must offer advice on contraception and the means for contraception; consultation about abortion and the performance of abortions, and; abortion regardless of age or marital status.

Excerpt from "Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity"

1. The Green Party affirms the rights of all individuals to freely choose intimate partners, regardless of their sex, gender, or gender identity.

2. The Green Party recognizes the full civil rights of sexual and gender minorities. The existing civil rights act prohibits discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability. We will work to add sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to the existing civil rights act.

Read the full 2020 Green Party Platform here.


The 2020 Libertarian Party Platform mentions the words "child" or "children" 6 times, and the word "marriage" twice.  The Libertarian party platform never uses the words "family", "families",   "gay", "lesbian", "LGBT", or "transgender".

Below are some of the excerpts from the Libertarian party platform's discussions relevant to families:

Excerpt from "Personal Relationships"

 "Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, promote, license, or restrict personal relationships, regardless of the number of participants. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Until such time as the government stops its illegitimate practice of marriage licensing, such licenses must be granted to all consenting adults who apply."

Excerpt from "Abortion"

 "Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

Excerpt from "Parental Rights"

 "Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs, provided that the rights of children to be free from abuse and neglect are also protected."




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