The first draft of the Texas Republican Party platform finds some changes to the party’s position on homosexuality with the removal of some anti-gay language, and the addition of a new statement supporting “gay cure” therapies.
The Houston Chronicle reports that a draft copy of the platform endorses the controversial practice of gay-to-straight “reparative therapy” for those seeking to “escape from the homosexual 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.
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.
The platform had previously stated: “We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God.”
The change drew some ire during testimony Thursday morning, with at least one delegate imploring the committee to return the platform language about homosexuality tearing at the fabric of society.
GOP party platforms vary from state to state. In Aril, the Nevada GOP removed language opposing same-sex marriage from its platform, while in Maine, where same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2012, the GOP voted to reaffirm its opposition to same-sex marriage.
Delegates to the GOP state convention are gathering in Fort Worth today through Saturday.