The first draft of the Texas Republican Party's proposed 2014 platform removes language that claims homosexuality "tears at the fabric of society," but inserts in its place an endorsement of so-called "reparative" therapy, a dangerous and discredited form of psychological abuse that falsely promises to change people from gay to straight. It also endorses the now-gutted federal Defense of Marriage Act.
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.
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.
Of course, there is absolutely no scientific basis for "ex-gay" therapy: literally every single major mainstream organization of medical and mental health professionals denounces "pray away the gay" fraudulence as unscientific, ineffective, and even potentially harmful. Then again, as we know from the state's Board of Education, facts don't really matter much in Texas.
As the Chronicle notes, the platform approval process is far from complete. The draft is currently being amended by a committee of 31 delegates to the Texas GOP state convention; once that process is wrapped up -- which is expected to be late tonight -- another group of delegates reviews it. After that, the final draft goes to the floor later this week for debate and approval.
But don't expect Texas Republicans to strip the anti-LGBT planks from their platform -- during testimony this morning, the fight wasn't about whether to remove them, but to add the "tears-at-the-fabric-of-society" language back in.
I don't know if everything's bigger in Texas, but the homophobia sure is.