texas_republican_party_votes_to_support_gay_cure_therapyThe Republican Party, also known as the GOP, in Texas has sparked outrage after it endorsed “gay cure therapies” in its state platform, despite the practice being widely discredited.

Last week, around 7,000 delegates at the party’s annual Texas convention in Fort Worth voted in favour of the new state platform, which outlines its stance on matters ranging from border security to affirmative action, as well as “strengthening families.”

In addition to affirming marriage as only being between a man and woman, the platform document states: “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 behaviour, regardless of state of origin.”

The document then goes on to say: “We recognize the legitimacy and value of counselling 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.”

The move comes as opposition to the practice of trying to “cure” or “convert” gay people grows in the US, with lawmakers in at least two states, New Jersey and California, voting to ban it when among minors,

Major medical and mental health organisations around the world have also denounced efforts to change sexual orientation or gender expression as ineffective and potentially harmful.

Gay conservative group such as the Log Cabin Republicans and Metroplex Republicans slammed the homophobic nature of the party’s Texas platform.

“We do not believe that the highly discredited practice of Reparative Therapy and anti gay language in the platform represents the views of average Republicans. We were denied the chance to prove that on the convention floor,” said Rudy Oeftering Vice President of Metroplex Republicans.

Both organisations were refused exhibition space at the Texas convention to express their views on the matter.

Log Cabin Republicans National Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo said that their exclusion was due to an “anti-gay wing of the party that hates gay people so much they can’t even stand to see us acknowledged as a necessary part of a winning Republican coalition.”

He warned that as the party loses ground on the issue of gay marriage in the US, “now is not the time for the politics of subtraction and division in the GOP; it is time for addition and multiplication. The Texas State GOP and its leadership ignore that advice at their peril.”

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