Republican Texans have endorsed ex-gay therapy as part of their party platform and maintained their opposition to gay marriage, even as they excised longstanding language that says homosexuality “tears at the fabric of society,” the Associated Press (AP) reports.
The Republican Party of Texas platform reads, in part, “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.”
AP says a Tea Party group, the Texas Eagle Forum, pressed for the inclusion of language supportive of reparative therapy, saying it’s a “freedom issue” and should be made available.
Members of Metroplex Republicans, a gay conservative group, were prepared to oppose the language, but the platform was approved before they could speak against it at the annual convention, held in Fort Worth June 7.
California and New Jersey have legislation in place banning the practice of ex-gay therapy on minors. Mental health organizations including the American Psychological Association have spoken out against such counselling.
“The idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation among some adolescents is in any way abnormal or mentally unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations,” the association says.