On Saturday the right wing Tea Party group Texas Eagle Forum achieved its goal: support for so-called “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy became an official plank of the Texas Republican Party’s 2014 platform. The Texas Eagle Forum is a state affiliate of the Eagle Forum, a far-right wing anti-gay, conservative, anti-women, anti-feminist organization bordering on white supremacy, founded by Phyllis Schlafly.
“Pray away the gay,” “ex-gay,” or “reparative” so-called therapy — which is designed to “cure” the patient of homosexuality — has been deemed ineffective, harmful, and/or dangerous by major medical associations worldwide, including the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Pan-American Health Organisation (World Health Organisation), among others.
The draft version of the Texas GOP’s 2014 platform was largely approved and voted upon only in a voice vote in which the 7000 delegates were not given copies of the document but rather, heard a reading of parts before voting.
Within the extensive draft are far-reaching and outlandish planks, including these containing support for ex-gay therapy, and other extremely anti-gay positions:
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.
We oppose any government agency to force faith-based adoption or foster care organizations to place children with same-sex couples.
We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.
• We support withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.
• We shall not recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse.
• We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.
• We urge the Legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws and support Covenant Marriage.
Covenant Marriage is defined as a “legal union of Husband and Wife that requires premarital counseling, marital counseling if problems occur, and limited grounds for Divorce.”
And more anti-gay language:
We support the enforcement of the State and Federal Defense of Marriage Act and oppose benefits for partnerships outside of marriage provided by political subdivisions.
We oppose government regulations which would coerce religious business owners and employees to violate their own beliefs and principles by affirming what they consider to be sinful and sexually immoral behavior.
We oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists.
The plank that lambasts so-called “activist judges,” without definition, presumably those who strike down same-sex marriage bans.
And this one against ENDA.
We call Congress and the President to use their constitutional powers to restrain activist judges. We urge Congress to adopt the Judicial Conduct Act of 2005 and remove judges who abuse their authority. Further, we urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.
The platform supports a medical record computer database or registry to track people living with HIV.
Yet another plank would make voting exceptionally hard:
We support restoring integrity to the voter registration rolls and reducing voter fraud. We support repeal of all Motor Voter laws; re-registering voters every four years; requiring photo ID of all registrants; proof of residency and citizenship, along with voter registration application; retention of the 30-day registration deadline; and requiring that a list of certified deaths be provided to the election administrator in order that the names of deceased voters be removed from the list of registered voters.
And the Texas GOP platform even supports the repeal of the historic landmark Voting Rights Act:
We urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed and not reauthorized.
The plank adds, “affirmative action reintroduces race as a divisive force in American life. The Republican Party of Texas believes in equal opportunity for all citizens without regard to race or gender. Affirmative action casts doubt on minority achievement making such achievement as seemingly unearned. We believe that true minority advancement will come from a demand for personal responsibility, accountability and competitive excellence.”
And then, bring on the real crazy:
The Republican Party of Texas should expose all United Nations Agenda 21 treaty policies and its supporting organizations, agreements and contracts. We oppose implementation of the UN Agenda 21 Program which was adopted at the Earth Summit Conference in 1992 purporting to promote a comprehensive program of sustainable development projects, nationally, regionally and locally. We oppose the influence, promotion and implementation of nongovernmental organizations, metropolitan and/or regional planning organizations, Councils of Government, and International Council for Local Environmental initiatives and the use of American (Texas) citizen’s taxes to promote these programs.
Agenda 21 is a touchstone for conspiracy theorists.
“We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories.” Creationism and climate change “should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced.”
If all this weren’t enough, the Texas GOP wants to use this platform as a litmus test — all Republicans running for office in Texas must support every plank, or else:
Every Republican is responsible for implementing this platform. Party candidates should indicate their positions on platform planks before their acceptance on the ticket and such information should be available on the Party website.
English should be the official language of Texas:
We support adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States.
The platform also calls for mandatory drug testing for all welfare recipients.
It is anti-vaccine:
“All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine.”
Supports abstinence-only sex ed:
We oppose any sex education other than the biology of reproduction and abstinence until marriage.
And there’s even more crazy:
“We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.”
“We support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from United States soil.”
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