Coming out can be one of the most difficult of processes for someone who is LGBT to go through. It is a deeply personal and defining moment in life — an act that unifies LGBT people as a community. But before being able to take this very important step, individuals who are LGBT must first come to terms with who they are and accept themselves unconditionally; often despite what society has taught us about being gay.
Texas Republicans don't seem to sympathize with this harsh reality LGBT people must face. In fact, the party's new 2014 platform promotes gay “reparative therapy” for all those “seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle.”
Even in this day and age, as the country swiftly advances towards equality for all, Texas Republicans are trying their hardest to outdo themselves in their homophobic political rhetoric.
Read what is stated in their new platform below the jump.In a draft obtained by the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle, Republicans denounce being gay as an “alternative lifestyle,” and encourage gay conversion therapy for those “seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle”:
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.
Late Thursday evening, the Texas GOP platform committee rejected an attempt to strike down the language regarding homosexuality and reparative therapy. Their support for gay conversion therapy will remain as part of their 2014 platform, as stated in the initial draft.
Attempting to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity by means of “reparative therapy” only results in physical and psychological harm, especially to LGBT youth. It is a demeaning and humiliating non-medical procedure, condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the country. This isn't a secret to anyone. Republicans must know this. To wish to hurt someone this way is barbaric.
Whether straight, gay, or bi, orientation is not a choice. No LGBT child or adult should ever have to go through this horrifying practice. There's nothing in them that needs fixing.
Cannot say the same of the Texas Republican Party, though.
Follow Omar on Twitter at @AraizaTX.