Religious-Right Group Defends Texas GOP’s Support for Abusive Gay ‘Cure’ Therapy

One of the most extreme religious-right groups in Texas is rushing to defend the state Republican Party for adopting a platform last week that supports discredited “reparative therapy,” which seeks to convert or “cure” gay people.

Medical experts and professional associations have condemned “reparative therapy” as abusive quackery that seriously endangers the mental health and physical well-being of those who suffer through it. The American Psychiatric Association, for example, notes that this “therapy” is not supported by scientific evidence and actually harms people:

“The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.

Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”

But Texas Values, the lobby arm of Plano-based Liberty Institute, has thrown its support behind the Texas GOP Platform and is condemning criticism of what it says is voluntary therapy:

“[O]ne is left to think Republicans in Texas are supporting mandatory, forced therapy to force gays to become straight. The stories you have read are false. The Texas GOP simply adopted a straight forward plank that protects freedom and parental rights by allowing Texans to seek the counseling they desire, free from government interference…. [G]overnment should not ban access to this type of therapy when it is voluntarily sought…. Texans believe in freedom and reject attempts by government to interfere in the decisions of parents, counselors, and minors seeking healing from homosexual desires that do no align with their faith, conscience or values.

Horse manure. This discredited “therapy” isn’t voluntary when parents force their gay children to submit to it. That’s a big reason why two states have barred this kind of abuse of minors. Additional states are considering such legislation.

The anti-gay extremists at Texas Values want to portray their support for “reparative therapy” as being about “freedom,” but it’s not. It’s about promoting ignorance and bigotry over research and real facts. Even more damning: it’s about promoting psychological abuse in the service of a hateful ideological agenda.

This article was posted in these categories: LGBT issues, Republican Party of Texas, Texas Values, TFNEF. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post.Trackbacks are closed, but you can Post a Comment.


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8 Comments

  1. Posted June 13, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    “The Texas GOP simply adopted a straight forward plank that protects freedom and parental rights by allowing Texans to seek the counseling they desire, free from government interference.”

    Maybe this should also apply to reproductive issues?

  2. Penny Hammack
    Posted June 12, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Many years ago one of my cousins married a gay man. They had two children before he decided that he didn’t want to be married to a woman anymore. His mother paid for several years of “reparative therapy” but he was never “fixed”. He couldn’t or wouldn’t pay child support and his mother spent all her money trying to fix him so my cousin was left to try to raise her children without needed support. That’s just not right.

    • Charles
      Posted June 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure what your point is Penny? Could you clarify that. Thanks!!!

      • Penny Hammack
        Posted June 13, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        My point is that “fixing” doesn’t work and the money spent could be spent elsewhere to the benefit of all parties. I worked with many gay and lesbian people and they didn’t want or need to be “fixed”. They just wanted to live their lives like any US Citizen.

        • Charles
          Posted June 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Penny.

  3. Charles
    Posted June 12, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    And now—a fun new board game from Milton Bradley:

    DESPERATION

    This is game is part of the new Religious Right game known as EPIC FAIL.

    Think about this for a moment. I chose the Beach-comber Lifestyle, and now I am so addicted to it that it is impossible for me to shop in the city—therefore I am going to commit suicide.

    Think about this for a moment: I chose the Bologna Sandwich Lunch lifestyle, and now I am so addicted to it that it is impossible for me to eat Chinese for lunch—therefore I am going to kill myself.

    Think about this for a moment: I chose the Honda Civic Lifestyle, and now I am so addicted to it that it is impossible for me to drive a Ford rental car—therefore I am going to kill myself.

    Think about this for a moment: I chose the HP Printer Lifestyle, and now I am so addicted to it that it is impossible for me to write with a pen—therefore I am going to kill myself.

    Think about this for a moment: I am a gray squirrel, and I am so addicted to hickory nuts that it is impossible for me to eat Kansas City steak—therefore I am going to seek reparative therapy.

    • Penny Hammack
      Posted June 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Charles, I’m not sure what your point is either. Please explain.

      • Charles
        Posted June 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        1) It is silly to think that one would choose any nonaddictive lifestyle and then kill themselves because if it. Although there may be some exception to this, it is unlikely that a person will kill themselves because of a lifestyle they can change just as easily as they accepted it.

        2) Squirrels eat hickory nuts (probably have for millions of years). It comes natural to them just like gayness does to some people. Squirrels do not naturally eat Kansas City steak, therefore, no squirrel is going to seek reparative therapy so he can eat steak.

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