By Chris Hoenig
The chairman of the Republican Party of Texas says he doesn’t agree with his state party’s official stance endorsing the use of conversion therapy for the LGBT community, even though it lives in the final version of the party’s 2014 platform.
The platform, passed earlier this month at the 2014 State Convention of the Republican Party of Texas but withheld from the press for two weeks due to a “clerical issue” includes a passage supporting conversion therapy in a section defending the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
“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,” the platform plank reads.
“Nothing is mandatory,” former Texas GOP chairwoman Cathie Adams, who is now the president of the Texas Eagle Forum and spearheaded the measure, wrote in an e-mail to CNN. “If a person chooses counseling, then it should be made available. California and New Jersey have passed bills OUTLAWING it altogether, which is under litigation. It’s a freedom issue.”
But current Texas GOP chairman Steve Munisteri told Texas Public Radio that he did not support the inclusion of the language, and neither do a lot of his constituents. “My emails and phone calls to the office are running overwhelmingly opposed to that plank in the platform,” he said. “And I just make the point for anybody that thinks that may be the possibility: Do they think they can take a straight person to a psychiatrist and turn them gay”
Munisteri blames Adams, his predecessor, for using tricks to get around the rules and force the language through. “Because the way the platform works, once somebody calls the question on the platform it’s a parliamentary maneuver,” he explained. “The delegates are really forced to pass the platform as is, because if you don’t there is no platform.”
The American Medical Association, World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association and National Association of Social Workers have all discredited the use of reparative therapy for America’s LGBT community.
“I got asked about an issue, and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, and get back to talking about, whether you’re gay or straight you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’ instead of getting which I did, I readily admit, I stepped right in it,” he said.