The Texas Republican Party gave a rare victory to gay rights advocates this week by removing language that stated that “homosexuality tears at the fabric of society” that has been in the party platform for decades.
But instead, they inserted a new plank that recognizes “the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.”
“Reparative therapy” is psychological treatment that attempts to turn gay people straight. Such counseling has been condemned by the American Psychological Association and many other major health organizations. It is especially harmful to minors and has been known to cause serious psychological harm. In fact, a law making such treatment illegal for minors was passed in California, and a similar law was passed in New Jersey and signed by Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie (which may explain why the delegates cheered when Christie finished a distant 11th in their 2016 presidential straw poll).
In other areas, the Texas Republican party platform moved further to the right. For example, tea party groups succeeded in winning a harder line on immigration, even though this will cost the party votes in states like Texas where the hispanic population is increasing.