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Texas GOP platform calls for ban on same-sex parenting because being gay is “abnormal”

Texas delegates Rene Diaz (L) and David Barton (R) chat while at the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center on September 3, 2008 in St Paul, Minnesota.
Texas delegates Rene Diaz (L) and David Barton (R) chat while at the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center on September 3, 2008 in St Paul, Minnesota. Photo: Shutterstock

A completed draft Texas Republican Party platform refers to homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice,” gender-affirming care as “child abuse,” and Drag Queen Story Hour as “predatory sexual behavior.” The platform has been voted on by state party delegates and will be formally adopted on Wednesday after a final vote count.

The list of state party priorities calls for an end to legal same-sex marriages, same-sex parenting, all LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination laws, all transgender rights — including gender-affirming care for children and adults — a ban on LGBTQ+ content in schools and libraries, the defunding of all diversity-equity-inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and legal protections for anyone who discriminates against queer people based on “religious or moral beliefs.”

Furthermore, the Texas GOP platform calls for a complete end to all of the following: pornography, federal welfare programs, minimum wage laws, mandatory sick or family leave policies, net neutrality, removal of Confederate monuments, pro-immigrant sanctuary cities, public education of undocumented children, no-fault divorce, non-abstinence sex education, abortion, birthright citizenship, professorial tenure in colleges and universities, cannabis legalization, anti-climate change legislation, contact tracing for the tracking of communicable diseases, federal regulations ensuring safe farm food production, and U.S. participation in the United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The platform also calls for fertilized human egg cells to be legally recognized as people, the passage of a “state electoral college-style” law that would make it nearly impossible for Democrats to win statewide office, a ballot measure for Texas to secede from the United States, the invalidation of all federal laws not approved of by county sheriffs, and for Christianity to be inserted into public schools and government buildings.

“We believe the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, overturning the Texas law prohibiting same-sex marriage in Texas, has no basis in the Constitution and should be nullified. We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal, and moral covenant only between one biological man and one biological woman,” says the platform, which was voted on by party delegates last Friday.

“Homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice,” it continues. “No one should be granted special legal status based on their LGBTQ+ identification…. We are opposed to same-sex parenting, intentionally subjecting a child to the loss of their biological father or mother, and other non-traditional definitions of family.”

“We oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity,” it adds. “There shall be no attempt to engage in so-called ‘gender affirming’ medical or mental health intervention for persons between the ages of 18 and 26,” including the use of names and pronouns associated with trans people’s genders. The platform would require health insurance companies covering gender-affirming care to also fully fund de-transitional procedures.

The platform says that any professionals who aid a minor’s gender transition in any way should face professional, civil, and criminal penalties, as well as lawsuits from anyone affected by their behavior. Furthermore, it calls for all gender-segregated facilities in prisons, schools, and government buildings to only be accessible to people based on their biological sex assigned at birth.

“We support affirmation of God, including prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments being returned to our schools, courthouses, and other government buildings,” the platform notes. “All persons and legal entities have the right of conscience and shall be protected under Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs.”

The platform calls for increased taxpayer funding of homeschooling, private, and charter schools while opposing any government oversight of them. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has used anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric to push for these school privatization policies. Critics say these policies look to defund public schools while benefitting students from wealthier families.

The platform also calls for the state to ignore any federal laws or rules that conflict with state laws. This would include new rules on Title IX and Title VII that forbid anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in workplaces and schools. Texas is one of 13 Republican-led states suing the administration of President Joe Biden over these rules.

It also calls for laws prohibiting the exposure of minors to “social transitioning” (that is, exploration of a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth), “predatory sexual behaviors” like Drag Queen Story Hour, and “the desensitization of children to sexual topics.”

However, federal courts have blocked Texas’s law prohibiting children at drag events as a violation of the First Amendment’s right to free speech and assembly. Furthermore, a federal court has also blocked a Texas state law requiring booksellers to rate titles based on their sexual and LGBTQ+ content. Laws defunding DEI initiatives have also disrupted LGBTQ+-inclusive training, advocacy centers, and awareness campaigns in schools and businesses, raising other free-speech concerns.

Though Republicans have controlled the state legislature and governorship for two decades, the party has still struggled to pass the key priorities in its platform, The Texas Tribune noted.

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