The Party Platform Confirms It: Culture Warriors Still Control the Texas GOP

In case you didn't know, the religious right still has the Texas Republican Party firmly in its grip. Just check out the platform adopted at the party convention this month. You'll see all the confirmation you need. Read More

The folks over at the Travis County Republican Party seem to think they have stumbled on an important scoop regarding the Orlando massacre. Check out the tweets. Read More

Every two years the Texas Freedom Network takes a look at the Texas Republican Party platform because, as we say around here, that platform has become a biennial exercise in extremism.

For several cycles now, the platform has been co-opted by far-right activists, and each platform can tend to look like a love letter to the extreme right of the state party.

You can read the 2014 TFN analysis here.

This year’s platform, adopted at the state party’s June convention, was given lots of press for a controversial plank on “reparative therapy,” a form of “treatment” that supposedly turns gay people straight. Professional medical associations have deemed the therapy to be harmful, abusive quackery, and some state governments have even moved to bar its use.

But the platform still has some hidden gems that didn’t get as many headlines. This year, for example, the party wants to make sure the United Nations keeps its hands off the Alamo. Here is a plank that was added to the 2014 Texas GOP Platform:

United Nations World Heritage Sites – We oppose the transfer of the Alamo and the other Franciscan missions to the United Nations. We urge the Texas General Land Office to… Read More

Just two weeks after the Texas Republican Party adopted its 2014 platform, the state party’s own chairman is trashing that platform’s support for so-called “reparative therapy” to “cure” gay people by turning them straight. Texas Public Radio quotes Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri about the controversial anti-gay plank in the platform:

“I just make the point for anybody that thinks that may be the possibility: Do they think they can take a straight person to a psychiatrist and turn them gay?”

Medical experts and professional associations have condemned “reparative therapy” as abusive quackery that seriously endangers the mental health and physical well-being of those who suffer through it. Munisteri says emails and phone calls to his office are “overwhelmingly opposed” to the “reparative therapy” plank in the platform. He went on to blame Cathie Adams, the head of the right-wing Texas Eagle Forum, for getting it in the platform. Adams has been one of the most viciously anti-gay activists in Texas. Munisteri unseated Adams as Texas GOP chairperson in 2010.

Nevertheless, the Texas GOP has remained openly hostile to LGBT people, even as polls show most Americans support LGBT equality, including marriage equality. In fact, the party this year once again refused — as… Read More

One of the most extreme religious-right groups in Texas is rushing to defend the state Republican Party for adopting a platform last week that supports discredited “reparative therapy,” which seeks to convert or “cure” gay people.

Medical experts and professional associations have condemned “reparative therapy” as abusive quackery that seriously endangers the mental health and physical well-being of those who suffer through it. The American Psychiatric Association, for example, notes that this “therapy” is not supported by scientific evidence and actually harms people:

“The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.

Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the… Read More

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