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article imageTexas Republicans push 'reparative therapy' to 'heal' gays

By Brett Wilkins     Jun 6, 2014 in Politics
Fort Worth - The proposed platform of the Texas Republican party would endorse so-called 'reparative therapy' to "heal" gays and lesbians, a discredited 'treatment' that has been banned in two states because of the harm and indignity it can inflict.
A push to include anti-gay language survived a key vote on Thursday at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, the Associated Press reports. The proposed party platform states that the party will "recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle."
The anti-gay platform is being promoted by Tea Party leader Cathie Adams of the Texas Eagle Forum, which defends what it calls "traditional values."
Across the street from the convention, US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a rising Tea Party star widely viewed as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, delivered an address at an anti-gay rally, defending 'traditional' male-female marriage. The event was hosted by controversial doctor Steven Hotze, who earlier said that equality for gays would lead to increased child molestation and that gay people "proliferate by one means, and one means only, and that's recruitment [of] children."
The convention's 10,000 delegates will vote on the final status of the party platform on Saturday.
Meanwhile, gay Republicans are fighting to remove language from the party platform stating that "homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit." Anti-gay Republicans wanted to compromise by retaining the statement but replacing "homosexuality" with "sexual sins."
A 'sin' is an immoral act considered to be a transgression against the laws of the Abrahamic deity figure 'God.'
One gay Republican took issue with his party's anti-gay stance.
"I really beg my social conservative colleagues to let this issue go," urged Rudy Oeftering, a Dallas businessman and vice president of the gay conservative group Metroplex Republicans. "It's your opinion, it's your belief-- but it's my life."
Not only has 'reparative therapy,' also known as 'gay cure therapy,' been widely discredited by the medical and scientific communities, it has been banned for use against children in two states, California and New Jersey, because of the indignity and harm it causes its victims. Such 'treatments' are founded upon the fallacious and bigoted notion that homosexuality is a mental disorder, and a choice.
Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, said he signed the 'gay cure therapy' ban into law because "efforts to change sexual orientation can pose critical health risks, including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self esteem and suicidal thoughts."
The American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association concur, with the latter urging "all mental health professionals to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientation."
Rather than 'healing' LGBT individuals, rejection of their sexual orientation was found by researchers at San Francisco State University to increase the likelihood of suicide attempts among LGBT youth by nearly 800 percent, depression by nearly 600 percent and illegal drug use by nearly 300 percent.
The strong Republican desire to marginalize and vilify homosexuality stands squarely at odds with the party's professed championing of individual liberty and privacy rights. For many years, Texas Republicans have refused to allow conservative LGBT groups to even rent booths in the convention hall.
But for many conservatives the Bible, which teaches that homosexuality is an "abomination" and that gays must be stoned to death, trumps individuals' civil rights.
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