CNN's Anderson Cooper Schools Texas GOPer on Gay 'Cure' Therapy

CNN’s Anderson Cooper talked to Texas state Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, on Wednesday about the state Republican Party’s support for “therapy” to convert gay people into straight people. Hughes argued that evidence supports so-called “reparative therapy.” But Anderson exposed that claim as utter nonsense. In fact, medical experts and professional organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all rejected so-called “reparative therapy” as unsupported by scientific evidence, abusive and harmful to LGBT people — especially minors — subjected to it.

Hughes, a forced smile plastered on his face, waved those facts away and suggested that being gay is a “mistake.” But, he insisted, “No one is saying that God doesn’t love people as they are.”

Anderson was having none of it:

“The fact that you view being gay — or you characterize it — as a ‘mistake,’ or something that should be changed really kind of maybe says more about your position than what your words actually say.”

8 thoughts on “CNN's Anderson Cooper Schools Texas GOPer on Gay 'Cure' Therapy

  1. Why am I suddenly reminded of how firmly established the FACT was that being left-handed is, after all, an unwise lifestyle choice, easily corrected with the appropriate combination of abuse and torture?

  2. The Religious Right DESPERATELY needs gayness to be a “lifestyle choice” rather than “something that naturally happens against one’s will.” The trouble is that the Bible does not say it is a lifestyle choice. They need it to be a lifestyle choice so it will clearly be a kind of sin they can contend with within their “bull doody” religious framework. Why is that? If it really is something that comes on against a person’s will and that person cannot help it, then it:

    1) Scares the crap out of them because it could happen to one of their children (and will) no matter what they do—and then there will be no white grandchildren to fight off the Mexican surge across the border.

    2) It shows that God can be angry enough to demand the destruction of someone who has not offended God by s sinful choice. Rather, God just hates them because of how the sperm, egg, and developmental things happened. So maybe God could just suddenly turn on them one night and strangle them in their own beds because God does not like the moles on their left shoulders. You have to remember that God is an all-powerful child abuser in Christian fundamentalist thought.

    3) If it is not a choice, then this leaves the door open for God to suddenly decide one night that Downs syndrome kids are an abomination before the Lord and must be destroyed right now—in fact anyone with a birth defect or a degenerative defect like Type I diabetes could suddenly be in the Holy cross-hairs. In other words, they fear that God may really be what they most fear about him deep inside—an angry and unreasonable brute who is watching every second for any small excuse to stomp on them.

    This is not about who God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit really are. This is all about propping up the EPIC FAIL man-made theology of Christian fundamentalism when it faces one of a growing number of issues that its two-bit, 19th century, “bull doody” theology cannot explain or contend with.

  3. Having red hair is a lifestyle choice. Sure, you’re born that way but you can choose to change the color and only your hairdresser will know for sure.

  4. Anderson Cooper does a great job of exposing the hate and lies of the GOP in this interview. Keep up the good work, Anderson! Our World is a better place when people stand against fear and misinformed-based bigotry and hatred!

    From one perspective, there appears to be overwhelming empirical information which also suggests Evangelical Fundamentalism is certainly a life-style choice. The cognitive/behavioral/emotive antisocial processes are learned/taught, and therefore, considered “unnatural”. In the scientific communities, such hyper-religiosity is often considered a form of individual, and collective/mass fear-based delusion, and often accompanied by other delusional and even psychotic processes (paranoia, grandeur, hallucinations, etc.). When such cognitive behaviors are exhibited, it can be the symptoms of certain deep-seeded personality disorders and/or mental illness.

    However, information also supports – when it is desired – through many years of dedicated rational reparative therapy (professional Cognitive/Behavioral/Emotive), Evangelical Fundamentalism can be overcome and corrected.

  5. It’s quite rare for a state Party to take a position on a medical or psychiatric treatment, and even more unusual to adopt a platform plank in favor of a kind of therapy that mental health professionals have roundly denounced as quackery.

    I’d like to know the story of how this exact language came to be in the Texas Republican Party platform.

    1. Gary: Actually, this kind of thing isn’t so unusual for the Texas GOP — or for the national GOP, for that matter. The Texas GOP’s platform is, like any party platform, an activist-driven creature. The plank on reparative therapy apparently originated with a North Texas right-winger who is a fervent Christian and considers himself “ex-gay.” Once religious-right groups in the party latched on to it, its passage was almost inevitable.

      1. If it’s not unusual, what are some similar examples?
        I don’t mean just advocating restrictions on LGBT rights, I mean actually prescribing “cures” for gayness in the Party platform.

        1. I don’t know Gary. The GOP cure for nonexistent man-contributed global warning appears to be to build more coal-fired power plants, burn all the leaves you want in the yard, and drive the biggest, most gas guzzling SUV that you can find—and sell all American oil to China for cheap bucks rather than use it here closer to where it was extracted.

          Its not American oil for American needs—and then the old butterfinger to the Middle East. It is American oil for Chinese needs. The advantage to us they say is that selling all that oil to China will increase the world supply and drive down the price of oil for Americans. Why does the GOP want to sell all our oil to a country that is looking more and more like a future geopolitical enemy of the United States, despite the interdependence of the two economies now?