This bold Republican tore her party's platform to shreds and for a great reason.

On July 11, 2016, ​the Republican party got together to put the finishing touches on their platform for the upcoming election.

The platform — which outlines what the party stands for and aspires to — is a handy resource for voters and politicians alike.

It's basically a sales pitch to the electorate and a way to measure how views change among the party's members over time.


And for some people, a relatable platform may sell them on the idea of voting in favor of a party's candidates. For others, an unrecognizable or frustrating set of values might indicate the party isn't the best fit for their personal ideologies anymore. 

During that meeting, a woman named Annie Dickerson surprised everyone by offering up a passionate plea for a new set of compassionate values.

She proposed that the party act with compassion on a topic that has always been a bit controversial among Republicans: LGBTQ rights.

Historically speaking, the Republican party has never been especially LGBTQ-friendly. Whether the discussion is related to marriage, parenting, employment, housing, or public accommodations, the party line has remained firmly anti-LGBTQ over the course of time.

Dickerson, who's a member of the platform committee, hoped to change all of that with her speech.

First, she spoke out against language arguing that children of gay and lesbian couples are more likely to be involved with drugs, commit crimes, and wind up in poverty — none of which is supported by evidence.

Then she urged her colleagues to scrap language in support of "traditional marriage and the families a husband and wife create," in favor of more inclusive language simply stating that children need a "loving and stable home." She also argued against the platform's "salute" to the state of North Carolina for its anti-LGBTQ law. And she begged them to show some empathy, to take a stand on the right side of history.

Sadly, though, she mostly stood alone while giving this speech. In the end, most other members of the platform committee adopted anti-LGBTQ positions instead.

Although Dickerson didn't affect the overall 2016 GOP platform, her speech was still really important.

Support for various LGBTQ issues is on the rise across the political spectrum. As a group, Republicans are still less likely than Democrats to back rights like marriage and employment protections. But individually, it looks like change is underway.

You may not hear prominent Republicans speaking out in favor of things like gay marriage (nominee Donald Trump has promised to appoint judges he believes will overturn the Supreme Court's 2015 marriage equality ruling) or civil rights for trans people (earlier this week, RNC speaker Ben Carson referred to transgender people as the "height of absurdity"). But it's important to remember that there are people like Dickerson within the Republican Party offering passionate arguments for change.

Maybe it takes people like Dickerson who will continue to step up and ask for compassion and empathy to change the party line. By 2020, maybe the party will reverse course on some of the more explicitly anti-LGBTQ positions. And maybe, following this fall's election, it'll become clear to those in power that political success cannot be built on the exclusion of others.

No matter what happens, I'm thankful for people like Dickerson.

You can watch Dickerson's speech to the RNC platform committee below.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.