This weekend, the Texas Republican Party approved a platform endorsing so-called "reparative therapy"—also known as "conversion therapy" or "sexual orientation change efforts"—for gay people.
That’s right—many delegates in Texas still believe that gay Americans need to be cured.
Even during this time of unprecedented progress, we must remain visible, and vigilant.
To add fuel to the fire, Texas Governor Rick Perry waded into the debate. According to press reports, when asked whether he believes homosexuality is a disorder, Perry responded that, "whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that." Shame on you, Governor Perry, for fanning the flames of discrimination.
Meanwhile one of the proposal’s main proponents, Texas Eagle Forum president Cathie Adams, said, "I do not think homosexuals are born as homosexuals."
This backwards platform was voted on without providing an opportunity for debate—and two gay GOP groups, Log Cabin Republicans and Metroplex Republicans, were denied formal participation in the annual convention where the language was approved.
The Texas GOP thinks that being gay is a choice, but this has no basis in scientific reality.
The American Psychological Association released a report in 2007 stating that there is very little sound research on sexual orientation change efforts. In fact, there is ample evidence that societal prejudice causes significant medical, psychological and other harms to LGBT people.
Republicans in other states have already awakened to this reality. Last summer, New Jersey joined California when Republican Governor Chris Christie signed a law banning reparative therapy on minors in New Jersey.
So shame on you, Texas GOP. We have evolved as a nation past this harmful, discriminatory way of viewing sexuality or gender identity as something that can or should be changed.
LGBT people don’t need to be cured.