Polling shows that most Americans oppose discrimination against LGBT people (and even support marriage equality), but Texas Republican Party leaders apparently didn’t get the memo. The Texas GOP has denied Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization for gay conservatives, a booth at its state convention in Fort Worth next week.

The state GOP chairman, Steve Munisteri, confirmed to the Houston Chronicle that the reason for the rejection is that Log Cabin supports marriage equality for LGBT families:

“The reason it was rejected was because the group applying was associated with advocating for gay marriage. So the problem was associated for advocating a policy decision that was contrary to the platform.”

That’s a rather strained excuse, to say the least. It’s true that the state party’s past platforms have opposed marriage equality. But convention delegates haven’t voted on this year’s platform yet. So it seems odd to deny Log Cabin a booth because the group opposes a plank in a platform that delegates haven’t even debated, let alone passed yet.

The reality is that a lot of Texas Republicans just don’t like gay people. Here’s what the state GOP’s 2012 platform said:

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and… Read More

You’ve no doubt heard of Conservapedia, the website that bills itself as — for lack of a better term — the fair and balanced alternative to Wikipedia. The name Conservapedia should give you an indication of the kind of balance they offer.

We recently got wind of Conservapedia’s chuckle-inducing entry on the 2012 Summer Olympics, which gets going with a reference to Nazi Germany (this has now been deleted) in the very first paragraph, and then goes on to do absolutely nothing to redeem itself in the rest of the entry.

Through the lens of Conservapedia, much of the the Olympic games is political. For instance, Conservapedia asks if “feminist Title IX quotas” will harm the performance of the U.S. wrestling team. “Will countries that have implemented same-sex marriage underperform?” asks the site. Did you know that the U.S. women’s soccer team’s coach is a foreigner? Now you do, because Conservapedia felt that fact should be emphasized.

And British soccer legend David Beckham is also somehow a political issue. Conservapedia calls him an “Overrated Sports Star.” The writer must be a Liverpool fan.

But anyway, this got us wondering how Conservapedia’s entry stacks up against another strange document of… Read More

A Texas Republican Party official says the party never meant to include an attack on teaching critical thinking skills in the platform it adopted this month. Talking Points Memo quotes state GOP Communications Director Chris Elam as claiming that plank got into the platform by mistake:

“[The chairman of the Education Subcommittee] indicated that it was an oversight of the committee, that the plank should not have included ‘critical thinking skills’ after ‘values clarification,’” Elam said. “And it was not the intent of the subcommittee to present a plank that would have indicated that the RPT [Republican Party of Texas] in any way opposed the development of critical thinking skills.”

Elam said the members of the subcommittee “regret” the oversight, but because the mistake was part of the platform approved by the convention, “it cannot be corrected until the next state convention in 2014.”

TPM asked Elam what the intent of subcommittee had been in including the “Knowledge-Based Education” plank.

“I think the intent is that the Republican Party is opposed to the values clarification method that serves the purpose of challenging students beliefs and undermine parental authority,” he said.

So if that plank has to… Read More

Remember when Texas State Board of Education member David Bradley criticized teachers and scholars who were crafting new language arts and reading curriculum standards for Texas schools back in 2008? Having students actually think about what they were reading didn’t seem like a good idea to Bradley:

“I’m sorry. This critical thinking stuff is gobbledygook.”

Well, Bradley’s fellow Republicans appear to agree. The 2012 Texas GOP platform adopted this month in Fort Worth includes the following gem:

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

So the Texas GOP worries that teaching kids to think is a threat to parental authority. Who knew?

TFN’s analysis of the Texas GOP platform is here.Read More

Read the Texas Freedom Network’s analysis of the 2012 Texas Republican Party platform here. The full platform itself is here.

We thought these two passages were particularly revealing.

Page 7:

“Homosexuality — We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. 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.”

Page 15:

“Equality of All Citizens — We deplore all discrimination.”

Yeah. Sure you do.… Read More

Texas Freedom Network

@SIECUS @kmillertfn @TXCapTonight This campaign for medically accurate, comprehensive and inclusive #SexEducation will stretch into next year when the TX State Board of Education is scheduled to make a decision. Find the TFN and SEICUS recs and ways to get involved at: tfn.org/sex-ed #TeachTheTruth pic.twitter.com/eoMv…