Just two weeks after the Texas Republican Party adopted its 2014 platform, the state party’s own chairman is trashing that platform’s support for so-called “reparative therapy” to “cure” gay people by turning them straight. Texas Public Radio quotes Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri about the controversial anti-gay plank in the platform:
“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?”
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. Munisteri says emails and phone calls to his office are “overwhelmingly opposed” to the “reparative therapy” plank in the platform. He went on to blame Cathie Adams, the head of the right-wing Texas Eagle Forum, for getting it in the platform. Adams has been one of the most viciously anti-gay activists in Texas. Munisteri unseated Adams as Texas GOP chairperson in 2010.
Nevertheless, the Texas GOP has remained openly hostile to LGBT people, even as polls show most Americans support LGBT equality, including marriage equality. In fact, the party this year once again refused — as it has in the past — to allow Log Cabin Republicans, an organization of gay conservatives. to have a booth at its state convention. In addition, State Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, recently supported the platform’s “reparative therapy” plank in an appearance on CNN, calling homosexuality a “mistake.” Gov. Rick Perry has also been promoting his anti-gay views, including comparing gay people to alcoholics.
So it will be interesting to see what far-right politicians and activists in Texas have to say about Munisteri’s apostasy on this issue.