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Texas GOP Just Endorsed Putting Gay People Through Torturous Therapy

Texas GOP Just Endorsed Putting Gay People Through Torturous Therapy

If you’ve ever read the Texas GOP’s party platform, you’d know they would be hard pressed to make it even more anti-gay. Well, now they have.

When the Dallas Voice reported last week that the Texas GOP had stripped some of its now infamous anti-gay language from its party platform, hopes were high that the state’s Republican party had decided to at least de-emphasize their hostility toward LGBT people. Unfortunately, upon seeing the first draft of the party platform, those hopes were quickly dashed.

To be sure, the Texas GOP has removed some of the nastier language relating to homosexuality, in particular the following:

“…we affirm that the practice of 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.”

However, much of the anti-gay language remains, including (h/t to the Chron):

Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.

Not only that, but the Texas GOP wants to change the law to withhold jurisdiction from the courts to make it impossible for the courts to overturn anti-gay marriage bans. Among other anti-gay language, the platform states

We oppose any government agency to force faith-based adoption or foster care organizations to place children with same-sex couples.

We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.

We support withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.

We shall not recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse.

We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.

We urge the Legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws and support Covenant Marriage.

Obviously, this is an overt attack on marriage equality and the right to adopt children, but it also constitutes an attack on domestic partners and people who wish to cohabit.

Other aspects of the platform mean that the Texas GOP will block all attempts at repealing the state’s anti-sodomy law, even though the Supreme Court of the United States has rendered it unenforceable because it is blatantly unconstitutional. Furthermore, it also probably means the GOP won’t change the state’s education code that has what is essentially a Russian style anti-gay “propaganda” ban, meaning that any pro-LGBT messaging in schools is forbidden.

In addition to this, delegates have added a controversial new couple of elements to the platform. One seeks to bolster religious rights against having to serve gay people and opposing any and all forms of ENDA, no doubt a reaction to the various federal level challenges that have seen the religious being told that if they open a public business they must abide by civil rights laws and serve the public, including LGBT people.

The other addition is even more damaging. The platform advocates for “reparative therapy” for gay people:

Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.

No doubt a reaction to laws in California and New Jersey that prohibit counselors from attempting ex-gay therapy with minors, this addition to the Texas GOP’s platform is particularly incredible because it is done despite the fact that all reputable medical bodies affirm that there is no “legitimate” reason to pursue trying to change someone’s sexuality and that there is no evidence it is even possible.

What’s more, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence, supported by clinical opinion, that attempting to change someone’s sexuality is traumatic and potentially damaging. Evidence suggests that this practice can lead to long term depression and suicidal ideation, sometimes with tragic consequences.

A lawsuit is currently underway in New Jersey against a leading Jewish ex-gay group where the plaintiffs are making a strong case for these harms. In addition, the presiding judge has just ruled that there will be no cap on the damages that might be awarded to plaintiffs should they prevail, further emphasizing the seriousness of the possible harms of ex-gay therapy.

Despite the ex-gay language being derisive, the party platform was approved in Fort Worth late last week and is now the official stance of the Texas GOP going into the 2016 elections.

The ex-gay endorsement has already featured as a talking point in the Texas governor race, with Democratic firebrand Wendy Davis already tweeting out her opposition to the language and an affirmation of equal rights for LGBT people, setting her liberal credentials against the staunch far-right politics of the Republican hopeful Greg Abbott.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock.

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140 comments

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9:07PM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

no no

10:09PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

@Bradford S you think us horrible liberals and ( some of us, oh the horror.....atheists are somehow picking on christians and their, um, values? What values? Where is that christian love and acceptance of ones fellow man? All I see is bile and mistrust and far worse.

10:02PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

@Neal G, re: The Holey Buy Bull? Do you mind if I borrow that? It's awesome.

9:57PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

What a nauseating bunch of bigots. Is there something that can be done to cure the Texas GOP? Some sort of therapy, perhaps? Maybe involving electrodes? I'm just sayin'...

9:14PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Only in Texas. That state is becoming more and more hypocritical with each passing day. They seem to be so hell-bent on putting religion into government whether it is factual or not. But then they are the first to throw a tantrum if they think their "gun rights" are being infringed. I really don't think Jesus would have been running around with an AK47. Those people don't make sense to me.

12:49PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

The people??? who decided this was very important, more important than manning the borders with Mexico, are just plain nuts. People are people!! God made each of us the way he wanted us to be. If he wanted us to be other than what we are, he would have done so. You can not constituational us, remember you are just like the people you don't want to be around. I knew Texas had problems, I just didn't think they were that bad.

6:45AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Ban the Holey Buy-Bull. Its a book of hate and lies.

5:50AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

The way I see it, Jesus' return is ONLY 2000 years late. Didn't he promise he'd be back BEFORE his 12 disciples died? Unless you can find some evidence that they are still alive, it's really unlikely he's going to be coming back at all. But if it were to happen, probably the ones he would be least pleased with are the conservative christians who so flagrantly call others abominations, and violate virtually all of Jesus' teachings. Nothing describes christian conservatives better than Matthew 23.

A Roman soldier came to Jesus saying "the man who lives in my house, who does everything I tell him to - he is sick - will you come and heal him?" Jesus was not stupid. He could see the obvious - a gay sex DOM/sub MASTER/slave relationship. Did Jesus rebuke the soldier? Did he call him an abomination? Did he threaten to send him to hell? Did he tell him to repent? Did he send him to hell? What did Jesus say? What did Jesus do?

Jesus went to the house, healed the man, said NOTHING, and went on his way.

5:06AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Bradford, do you believe in "That which you do to the least of these you have done to me"? Do you believe in "whoever is without sin shall cast the first stone"? Do you believe in "love your neighbor for all are your neighbors"? Do you believe in "judge not lest you be judged"? Unless, of course, you're not referring to the words of Jesus, but of Paul, who Thomas Jefferson called "the first corrupter of the teachings of Jesus".

All you need to do is substitute BLACK for GAY to realize it is bigotry plain and simple. Do you support bigotry? From your comment, clearly you do. And Jesus had a lot to say about those claiming to be following his word but weren't.

4:59AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Author J Daniel Sawyer says that if your entire philosophy is based on preparing for a war, you're going to be the one causing it.

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