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Texas GOP Lawmaker Defends Party Adopting Discredited 'Cure The Gay' Therapy

CNN's Anderson Cooper took on Texas State Representative Bryan Hughes over his support for making the discredited gay reparative therapy as part of his party's state platform.
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Despite warnings of the damage that it is eventually going to do to their party, the Texas GOP decided that this would be a good idea earlier this week: Texas Republican Party Adopts Discredited 'Reparative Therapy' for Gays:

This past weekend, the Texas Republican Party (“Fight to Keep Texas Red”) adopted a party platform for 2014 that includes support of so-called “reparative therapy,” a psychological approach that claims to be able to change the sexual orientation of adults, from gay to straight. Reparative therapy is a long-held cornerstone of the religious right, and the Texas GOP’s inclusion of the therapy in its platform could be an indication of the Tea Party and religious right’s pull in the Lone Star State.

A draft of the platform obtained by the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle includes language delegitimizing sexuality that does not adhere to traditional heterosexual 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.”

The draft then goes on to endorse reparative therapy:

“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.” Read on...

One of their state representatives thought it would be a good idea to go on Anderson Cooper's show this Wednesday to defend that decision, and it did not go all that well for him: Anderson Cooper dismantles TX Republican’s defense of discredited ‘ex-gay therapy’:

CNN host Anderson Cooper picked apart a Texas state legislator’s attempt on Wednesday to claim scientists were still debating the discredited gay “reparative” therapy advocated by his party platform, listing a litany of medical groups that have condemned it.

“It’s really just not accurate to say that doctors are evenly divided,” Cooper told state Rep. Bryan Hughes (R). “I could give you a list: the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselors’ Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers. They represent half a million mental health professionals, [and] they all say this is not a mental disorder. It’s not something that needs to be cured.” [...]

Cooper also pointed out to Hughes that Exodus International head Alan Chambers has disavowed and apologized for his organization’s work promoting this kind of “therapy,” and played a clip of Hughes saying that their work would “haunt” him until the day he died because of the damage it did making people feel God did not love them as they were.

“Does it concern you, again, that your party is now backing a form of therapy which basically every major medical organization says doesn’t work, can be harmful, and which many of the people who have been through it say it doesn’t work and is bad for kids?” Cooper asked.

Hughes reiterated that his party had “heard testimony” and “read reports” regarding the therapy’s benefits, but did take issue with Chambers’ point regarding religion. Read on...


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