It would be an Unethical Quote of the Month, if it weren’t also so stupid. As it is, the newly minted endorsement of conversion therapy for gays in the party platform serves to remove any reason to respect the Texas Republican Party, and like a projectile vomiting episode, contaminates anyone who identifies with the GOP, not just in Texas, but anywhere.
This despicable and ignorant platform states:
“We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.”
This was composed by bigots, enacted by fools, and adopted by intellectually lazy and mean-spirited dolts.
- “We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling…” Then you are willfully ignorant. The psychiatric profession rejects counseling as a “cure” for gays, and the medical profession regards it as quackery. Gays generally feel that it constitutes abuse. “The most important fact about these ‘therapies’ is that they are based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions,” said the American Psychiatric Association. “To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation … is safe or effective.”
- “…which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness…” This is slander, no more, no less. Homosexuality isn’t a disorder, a malady or a disease, like gonorrhea or dementia, and it is degrading, insulting and marginalizing to characterize it as such. Nobody “heals” from homosexuality—it’s not like a broken arm— although many LBGT individuals require healing from the emotional abuse wreaked by these kinds of bigoted attacks. Cathie Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum, and a major culprit in promoting this embarrassing, 19th Century position, has told the press, “I do not think homosexuals are born as homosexuals.” Well, Cathy, there are people who don’t believe in all sorts of facts and truths that their tiny minds and biased souls won’t accept, and that’s fine, for this is a free and tolerant country. That does not mean, however, that major political parties should ignore over their duty to be responsible, fair and sane to such people.
- “….from their homosexual lifestyle.” It is not a “lifestyle,” any more than there is an African-American lifestyle, or a female lifestyle. By officially adopting this offensive and archaic language, intended to make the assertion that homosexuality is a choice when it is not, the Texas Republican party is embracing a lie, and an easily disprovable lie. Yes, I’m sure those who wrote and voted for the measure believe this particular lie, meaning that they are not dishonest, just stubbornly, willfully ignorant. That’s not a distinction to be proud of.
As for the last part, OK…we allow people to go to faith healers, acupuncture specialists and other forms of dubious medical treatments. As long as the treatment itself isn’t harmful—I have previously endorsed the right of stupid parents to send their gay kids to such counselors if it isn’t affirmatively damaging, though I am wavering—I don’t like the government telling an adult that he or she can’t seek treatment for anything they want treatment for—insomnia, poor memory, being a Texas Republican. The problem is that this is a trivial issue for a state party platform, and less the party in question has another objective: denigrating gay Americans.
That’s exactly what this plank does, and of course it’s intentional. These sad, angry, impenetrable individuals simply can’t accept that a beloved tenet of their Bible schooling and hand-me-down biases just doesn’t square with reality, so they want to stick their fingers in their ears, cover their eyes, and behave as if nothing has changed in our knowledge about the human species in the last 400 years. Pathetic.
It is these people, not their innocent victims, who would desperately need reparative therapy, except that, as the comic says, you can’t fix stupid.