A draft of the Texas Republican Party's new platform embraces gay conversion therapy, arguing that it is a viable option for "patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle."
The Texas GOP convention kicks off Thursday, and one of the tasks of delegates is rewriting the party's platform.
The current document, adopted in 2012,sharply condemns equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. There are multiple sections dealing with the issue, including language that reads: "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."
According to a draft of the new platform obtained by the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle, that language is gone. It still, however, contains a section criticizing homosexuality:
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.
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