It’s pretty good to be a Republican in Texas. With the party running most of the state and holding majorities in the legislature, you can pretty much say and do whatever you like and still win your election. Maybe that’s why when it comes to writing the party platform, anything goes.
The Texas platform heading into the 2014 elections isn’t just your standard conservative red meat. Oh, sure, you have a bunch of talk about limited government, lower taxes and the usual fare that the general public traditionally think of when it comes to the Republican party. Because this is Texas — the state of Ted Cruz and Louis Gohmert — things don’t just stop there.
Here are 5 extreme measures the Texas GOP have decided should be codified into their party platform:
1) Gay therapy. While much of the country is recognizing that LGBTQ people may in fact be regular people, and we are seeing marriage equality and discrimination laws being advocated to protect their equal rights, the Texas GOP has decided to double down on the idea that anything other than heterosexual attraction is something psychologically wrong, and needs to be “fixed.” “We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy,” declares the party platform, with backers arguing, “Hey, it’s not like we are making people undergo it, we just want it to be there if they want it as an option.” End result? The implication that gayness is still an “oddity” and that a “cure” is out there for the taking.
On the bright side, they did pull out the part claiming: ”homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God.”
2) Getting even tougher against immigration. Just a few years after endorsing a path to a visa, the Texas Republican party has decided to ditch its previous endorsement of a guest worker program. “About 8,000 delegates gathered to consider the party platform and eventually rejected a proposed immigration plank that included language calling for a provisional visa program for immigrants,” writes the Texas Tribune. ”In its place, they adopted a plank that echoes the party’s 2010 platform. It does not call for a guest-worker program and instead calls for ending in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants and prohibiting sanctuary cities — municipalities that do not enforce immigration laws.” It’s a move that is unlikely to be popular with the large number of Texans who are related to or know someone who is undocumented but, thanks to the state’s new voter ID laws, the GOP probably figures many of them will get blocked from voting at the polls anyway.
3) What climate change crisis? Move along, folks, there is nothing to see here when it comes to global warming, at least, not according to the Texas GOP. “While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth, ‘climate change’ is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives. We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or ‘climate justice’ initiatives,” according to the party platform. Of course, the “good stewards of the earth” on its own is a major biblical shout out and reminder of man’s alleged dominion over all natural resources. Because obviously, stewarding the earth means plundering it for all its lovely resources, and the last thing we want to do is let initiatives that could stop some of the more disastrous effects of our actions get in the way of making a buck.
4) Give women and girls the freedom to choose…to be mothers. There is no surprise in the Texas GOP declaring sanctity of life to be a platform plank (unborn life, not the life of the planet, as we saw in number 3). Sadly, it’s probably not even a surprise that they wrongfully declare the morning after pill to be an “abortifacient” rather than a form of pregnancy prevention. But after statement after statement on overturning Roe, making abortion illegal, restricting it to the point of unavailability until they can actually make that happen, and even fighting against laws that make blocking clinics illegal, the GOP then embraces a “woman’s right to choose.” As long as she chooses to parent. ”We strongly support a woman’s right to choose to devote her life to her family and children. We recognize her sacrifice in the face of the assault on the family.” It should be noted that no where in the platform is there anything supporting a woman or girl’s right to access preventative care, general health care, education, jobs, equal pay or anything else along those lines.
5) End divorce. So, making sure that marriage is just between a man and a woman isn’t enough for the Republicans of Texas. They also need to make sure that once that man and woman get married, they stay married no matter what. “We urge the Legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws and support Covenant Marriage,” declares the platform, which means that once you get married divorce is only allowed if one spouse (and just one, not both) has an affair, physical abuse can be proven or both spouses agree to the divorce — which allows one partner to keep the other in a relationship against his or her will. It also demands that the wife be “submissive” to her husband.
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