Hellfire and Brimstone Fly Over Gays at Texas GOP Convention
The Texas GOP Platform committee has approved language in the 2014 Texas Republican Platform to prohibit Texas from creating laws to ban reparative therapy when such treatment is sought by a patient. Other states, like California and New Jersey have passed laws that interfere in the doctor or therapist-relationship.
While the GOP’s proposed language is undoubtedly controversial, there has been a dramatic misrepresentation of the GOP’s new platform. LGBTQ Nation, The Wire, The Daily KOS, and countless other news organizations have written articles suggesting that by embracing this plank, the GOP is advocating for a cure to homosexuality. Many of these articles feature the word ‘gay cure’ quoted in their headlines, suggesting that they are quoting from the platform. Though the GOP’s new plank endorsing ex-gay therapy, the word ‘cure’ does not appear anywhere in the platform.
Last week, Breitbart Texas reported that the Log Cabin Republicans and the Metroplex Republicans were denied booths at the Republican Convention. Officials from the Log Cabin Republicans told Breitbart Texas they were denied these booths because they “did not embody the party’s platform.” A part of the GOP’s platform that claimed “homosexuality tears at the fabric of society.” In a first draft of the GOP’s new platform, reporters found that this language had been removed, but was replaced with an expanded condemnation of homosexuality.
Sandwiched in between an amendment that condemns human trafficking and an amendment that encourages the enforcement of pornography laws, the new platform includes language that advocates for ex-gay therapy; a supposed medical treatment for homosexuality.
“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,” reads the platform’s first draft.
Breitbart Texas news contributor Bob Price attended both the Temporary Platform Committee meeting and the Thursday night Permanent Platform Committee meeting. “The debate about the reparative therapy plank,” Price said, “centered around not allowing the state of Texas to pass any law that would prohibit someone who is seeking counseling or therapy from a doctor or therapist to be able to obtain treatment they desire.”
“Members of the committee heard testimony from convention delegates,” Price continued, “who testified strongly for and against the issue. Many amendments were offered to attempt to soften the language but those failed on a near evenly split vote of the committee.”
Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, Gregory T. Angelo, spoke to Breitbart Texas reporters saying he fears that perpetuating such anti-gay sentiments will deter people, especially Millennials, from voting Republican. Angelo referred to the new language of homosexuality as “divisive and harmful.”
“I am encouraged by the common sense conservatives that removed the old language claiming ‘homosexuality tears at the fabric of society’. I would encourage those same Republicans who understand the endorsement of so called ‘reparative therapy’ is similarly divisive and would not serve to increase Republican majorities in the state of Texas, to push against it.”
Breitbart Texas reporter Kristin Tate also attended the Permanent Platform Committee meeting. “The issue of homosexuality in the platform clearly divided the room,” she said. However, speaking with young Republican voters, she found that they largely fell on the side against the proposed language. “Many of the young Republicans I spoke with felt that putting seemingly anti-gay language into the party platform is alienating to lots of potential GOP voters,” she reported.
“The Texas state GOP platform is rather unique as state party platforms go” said Angelo. “Instead of being a list of core principles that conservatives can coalesce around, it has become a kitchen sink list of law that members of the platform committee would like to see passed. For example, the platform also advocates for the consumption of raw milk. There is an element of absurdity in all of this. What is not absurd however, is that anti-gay language like this will only serve to alienate people who would vote republican but for nonsense like this.”
Angelo told Breitbart Texas that the Log Cabin Republicans have not yet released a statement either celebrating the removal of the old language or condemning the addition of ex-gay therapy language as to “not give the left fodder to hurt the Republican party.”
GOP officials failed to comment on the language of the current draft.
The issue of homosexuality in the Republican party has caused a large schism within the GOP, and is currently the object of a fierce debate. Delegates to the GOP state convention have gathered in Fort Worth for the annual state convention to discuss this, and other issues. There will be a final opportunity for delegates to seek to make changes to this plank during the general assembly meeting on Saturday morning when the entire platform document will be debated and voted upon by the body of the convention.
Follow Patrick Kane on Twitter @PatVKane.