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Posts for April, 2015

Maggies report card on Indiana

Timothy Kincaid

April 8th, 2015

Maggies report card on indiana

Maggie Gallagher has graded several potential Republican presidential contenders on their response to the Indiana FRFA brouhaha.

While Maggie highly regards those who wish Indiana to broadcast its antipathy towards its gay citizens, something I disavow, I think that this chart tells us something else, something useful. What this measures for me is the extent to which these potential candidates have their ear attuned to the nation’s current attitude on gay issues.

It would seem to me that those whom she grades lowest were the best capable of recognizing the quagmire the state had created and avoiding stepping in it.

CA GOP recognizes Log Cabin

Timothy Kincaid

March 2nd, 2015

LCR

Log Cabin Republicans was founded in 1977 in Southern California to oppose a ballot initiative that would have banned gays and lesbians – and those who supported them – from holding the position of teacher in a California public school. Log Cabin was able to marshal support from what was called ‘country club Republicans’, and eventually, after former GOP Governor Ronald Reagan took a stance in opposition, the Briggs Initiative was defeated by a vote of 58% to 42%.

In the 38 years since that time, Log Cabin has had varying times of success. As the Republican Party turned more and more to social issues and adopted opposition to gay rights as a fundraising and voter rallying point, LCR took an an odd role. Candidates for offices often used the political shorthand of supporting or denouncing Log Cabin to publicly identify with either the right-wing social activist or the fiscal conservative wing of the party.

And Log Cabin grew. First within California and then, in the 90s, into a nationwide organization.

In the beginning, LCR’s position within the community was often welcomed and respected. As co-founders of California’s LIFE Lobby, which provided one of the first full-time gay lobbyists to a state legislature, Log Cabin utilized its perspective and partisan language to appeal to Republican legislators. And Log Cabin forged relationships within other growing national groups.

But over time, national groups began to see themselves as more aligned with progressive ideology and, rather than strictly advancing legislation that dealt with matters impacting gay people, instead saw their place as partners in a progressive movement. As this movement drifted further towards the left side of the Democratic Party, there was less and less commonality with Log Cabin and eventually the organization separated itself from the nominally non-partisan joint efforts.

Log Cabin turned, instead, to a tactic that had been used successfully by social conservatives in the past. They became grassroots activists. Turning to county central committees and structures within the GOP, they sought to influence and change the presumptions of ‘the base’.

And Log Cabin has made visibility within the party a priority, knowing that simply being in the room could change the rhetoric.

Some places they found harsh opposition. The Texas GOP has proudly waved its bigotry and homophobia like a banner. New England was much more welcoming.

In California, the group has had a mixed record. In some years, statewide candidates have been supportive, in others homophobia has ruled the day.

For many years there has been a battle within the state GOP for control of the party and its image. Some wanted the GOP to be a voice for fiscal conservatism and others wanted to champion theocracy. As the latter gained more influence, the party as a whole lost power.

The Legislature has seen a constant decline in GOP representatives as moderates and independents in the state have found the Party’s positions to be harsh and not reflective of their views. Currently Democrats have a super-majority in both the Assembly and the State Senate and the GOP holds no statewide elected office.

In this climate, the statewide party structure has not been historically supportive of the gay group. They have never been banned from visibility in state conventions – and one of the best attended social events has always been the Log Cabin party.

And in several counties, Log Cabin has had chartered recognition and gay Republicans pretty much keep the party going in some places. But access to statewide decision making has been limited.

However over the weekend there came an important change (LA Times)

The Log Cabin Republicans, a 38-year-old organization that had unsuccessfully sought a charter from the state party several times in the past, received the formal imprimatur on a 861-293 vote at the party’s biannual convention in Sacramento.

This is more than just a polite acceptance. As an official part of the structure of the California Republican Party, Log Cabin gains rights and access on the same terms as other volunteer organizations. They now have a vote on the State Central Committee and a voice in establishing party policy.

This move did not come without opposition.

Some opponents said Log Cabin’s proposal was sneaked onto the convention agenda without notice, and that the group violates the party’s by-laws, which forbid the recognition of organizations focused on “lifestyle preferences.”

“The only thing I ask is this body stand on the rules we’ve supported for two decades that say there is a process to change the rules and the bylaws,” Assemblywoman Shannon Grove repeatedly pleaded during the hearing.

And Grove is correct. Anti-gay factions in the party had specifically changed language in the past to exclude the possibility of Log Cabin’s inclusion. This seems, however, to have been ignored by 75% of the delegates to the convention.

It is difficult to know exactly what this says about the future of the California Republican Party. Symbolically, this may send a message that the theocrats have finally lost. It may be the first step in the dismantling of bigotry and exclusion within the California Republican Party.

Or it may simply be a middle ground. This may be an indication that party members want a ‘balance’ that allows for gay people to be in the room but keeps policies and positions as hostile.

I’m inclined to see this as reflective of significant change. Because the vote was so large and because it was vehemently fought by the far right contingent, this seems to be to be a major gain for the party’s moderate faction.

Bryan Fischer “Fired” While Republican Party Leaders Travel To Israel on Hate Group’s Tab

Jim Burroway

January 29th, 2015

While news outlets in America are discussing Speaker John Boehner’s irresponsible invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress as part of Netanyahu’s re-election campaign back home, the Israeli daily Haaretz is filling its Israeli readers in on a trip being made by some sixty members of the Republican National Committee, with all expenses paid by the American Family Association. In the process Haaretz is giving its readers a good glimpse of what the AFA’s Bryan Fischer has said on behalf of the organization footing the bill for the Republican junket:

Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s director of issue analysis, has said that black people “rut like rabbits.” Moreover, in a September essay, he wrote: “We are a Christian nation and not a Jewish or Muslim one.” On a video segment on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” last Friday, Fischer was seen blasting gay activists as “jack-booted homo-fascist thugs,” and depicting Islam as “an Ebola virus that is lethal and deadly.”

…For his part, AFA’s Fischer, in a 2010 essay slamming the end of the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay soldiers, blamed homosexuals for the Holocaust: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”

The AFA has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. GOP Chairman Reince Priebus sent out the invitation for the trip to all 168 RNC members in November. About sixty accepted and are going on the trip, including Priebus. Altogether 98 people are going on the nine-day trip that begins on Saturday. David Lane, who heads the American Renewal Project, is organizing the trip. The American Renewal Project is funded by the AFA, and is housed at AFA headquarters in Tupelo, Mississippi. Haaretz also gave its readers a small dose of some of Lane’s past statements as well:

His American Renewal Project is working to persuade 1,000 evangelical pastors to run for public office in 2016. “The Lord gave me this model of mobilizing pastors to try and engage the culture. Somebody’s values are going to rein supreme,” Lane told Haaretz, adding, “America was founded by Christians for the glory of God and the Christian faith.”

…We were established as a Christian nation in the name of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith. It’s my position that we’ve lost that,” Lane explained, in an appearance on conservative political commentator Glenn Beck’s television show “The Blaze.” “Restoring America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establishing a Christian culture is the only way that we get out of where we are.”

No one from the RNC, the Republican Jewish Coalition, or the Anti-Defamation League would respond to a week’s worth of telephone messages from Haaretz for comment.

So far, this has been little noted in the American press, although it’s gotten to be a really big deal in Israel. Debra Nussbaum Cohen, the Haaretz reporter, appeared on Rachel Maddow last night to talk about the story. Maddow also reported that the AFA has responded by announcing that Fischer has been “fired” as a spokesperson and Director of Issues Analysis for the AFA. Tim Wildmon, the AFA’s president, told MSNBC that Fischer was now “just a radio host,” and that he was “fired” because of “the soundbite quotes, you know, the Hitler and the homosexuality one…” Maddow noted that even though Fischer has a long history of consistently making these same remarks over and over, Wildmon said simply, “we reject that.” For now, at least, while the Israeli public’s eyes are on them.

I’m still putting Fischer’s “firing” in quotes, because he apparently still has his radio program, carried throughout the AFA’s radio network of more than 200 stations. He may no longer have the title, but he still has the same national platform that he always had, courtesy of the AFA:

Meanwhile, more than a third of the entire Republican National Committee and its chairman will depart Saturday in the company of several Christian Reconstructionists on the AFA’s $400,000 tab. So for now, nothing’s really changed.

The single MOST important thing to Rep. Bill Hayes

Timothy Kincaid

January 9th, 2015

Bill hayesMeet Bill Hayes.

Hayes is the Representative to the Ohio House of Representatives from the 71st District, a rural chunk of dirt between Columbus and Cleveland. And he holds his Republican values with pride (candidate site)

Bill is “Rock Solid” on

  • Smaller Government
  • Protection of the Unborn
  • Lower Taxes/Less Spending
  • Gun rights
  • Quality Education
  • Securing Our Borders

But though he left if off the list, there is one value, one singular issue, which is more important than any of these. So important, in fact, that Bill Hayes wrote a letter to the Newark Advocate editor to explain how this issue trumps all others.

Here’s Bill telling us why he isn’t endorsing fellow Republican Senator Rob Portman:

I am very much in line with the Senator on many, in fact most, issues such as his conservative approach to fiscal matters, the 2nd amendment, health care, education, school prayer, and most family issues.

However, as a matter of conscience I do not concur with his position that loving homosexual couples should be permitted to “marry”. That view requires me to redefine my strongly held religious view on the institution of “marriage”, a view that, because of conscience, I cannot support and that does not allow me to endorse the senator’s candidacy due to the influence my endorsement may have on others.

I think that when Rep. Hayes runs for re-election he should just leave off all that stuff about guns and smaller government. After all, the truly important thing to Hayes is stopping gay people from getting married.

Rest in Peace, Judy Baar Topinka

Timothy Kincaid

December 10th, 2014

Topinka

The state of Illinois and the gay community has lost a treasure. (Chicago Tribune)

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, long one of the state’s most colorful and outspoken elected officials, died early Wednesday of complications from a stroke she suffered Tuesday, her chief of staff said. Ms. Topinka was 70.

Illinois politics has always been a carnival, providing colorful characters and unexpected storylines. Tales of shady dealings abound. Some still insist that voter fraud by Mayor Daley won the 1960 election for Kennedy and no one seems at all surprised that four of the last seven governors went to jail for fraud or racketeering or blatantly trying to sell government positions to the highest bidder.

The Illinois Republican Party has also been a whirl of grand-scale spectacle where in the past few decades much of the brouhaha has been over social issues, particularly gay rights.

The stomping grounds of such characters as Peter LaBarbera, the Prairie State GOP has it’s share of anti-gay activists. But it also is home to Senator Kirk, a marriage supporter, and former state party chairman Pat Brady who in 2013 was an active campaigner for the marriage equality bill.

Republicans in the Land of Lincoln are not, on the whole, pro-gay. But there is a far greater tolerance for pro-gay politicians there than in many GOP circles. And no small part of that is due to Judy Baar Topinka, a GOP politician who never balked at letting her support of the community be known.

In many respects, Ms. Topinka could be considered the matriarch of the moderate wing of the state Republican Party. A fiscal conservative, she was an early advocate of abortion and gay rights, positions which often put her at odds with members of the socially conservative wing of the GOP.

“I don’t know that I was ever the choice of the party regulars,” Topinka said during her 2006 run for governor. “One fellow told me, ‘You are never going to get anywhere. You don’t run with the big dogs.’ OK, well, you know, now, the big dogs are either retired, dead or in prison. So here I am.”

Topinka started her career as a news reporter and in 1980 she ran for state representative. After two terms, she was elected to the state senate and then to the position of State Treasurer, where she served for 18 years. From 2002 to 2005, she served as the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and in 2006 Topinka was the GOP nominee for Governor, losing to Rod Blagojevich.

In 2010 she was elected State Comptroller, a position to which she was reelected last month.

topinka gay prideTopinka was a unique character. In a heavily partisan state, she was a maverick who spoke her mind, didn’t mince words, and would accept the ideas of anyone who would help her achieve her goals. In a world of polished politicians, she shopped at resale stores and garage sales and played polka on the accordion.

And she earned the respect of those of all political persuasion who worked with her.

And for much of her political career, she was a visible advocate for the community. A regular in the pride parades and seen campaigning in gay bars, Topinka used her position to help the community achieve funding for the construction of a community center. She was a supporter of the marriage bill and was on the dais when Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill.

Thank you, Judy, and rest in peace.

North Carolina GOP petitions to intervene

Timothy Kincaid

October 9th, 2014

The Republican majority in the North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives have filed a brief arguing that the ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was denied certiorari by the Supreme Court, does not apply to their state. Because those crazy liberals in Virginia made concessions in court that the Republicans in the North Carolina legislature would never make, therefor their ban on same-sex marriage – unlike everyone else’s – should be upheld.

They are being represented by John Eastman, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, who ran Attorney General in the Republican primary, winning 34%. Eastman is not exactly the most persuasive of legal minds and his involvement is likely to be an advantage to marriage equality proponents. You may recall him from his unbroken string of colossal losses in NOM’s battle to defy state political donor laws.

Should the judge write a big giant F in red ink across the face of their brief, they alternately want to be granted the right to appeal any ruling for marriage to the Fourth Circuit (who already ruled for equality), to the court en banc (good luck with that) and to the Supreme Court (which has already denied cert from this circuit).

GOP response to lack of certiorari

Timothy Kincaid

October 6th, 2014

Today the Republican Party quickly responded to the decision by the US Supreme Court to deny certiorari to marriage equality appeals with the following:

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Silence, echoing silence is all that can be heard from party leaders.

As Jim has shown, the usual voices of the anti-gay extremists have been loud in condemnation. But where are RNC Committee Chairman Reince Preibus? Surely this merits a moment of his time.

And as for House Majority Leader John Boehner… well perhaps he’s too busy to comment today. He’s on his way to San Diego to raise money for a gay GOP congressional candidate.

Sure they may both say something about the denial of cert. They may even remind us that they “personally uphold the traditional definition of marriage” or something of the sort. But gone are the days of blistering retort or angry denunciation.

And that, as much as anything, is a sign that while the fighting isn’t over, we’ve already won.

Haley’s right-wing challenger supports marriage decision

Timothy Kincaid

July 29th, 2014

Nikki Haley, the Republican governor of South Carolina, is perceived to be weak by some of the state’s more extreme citizens. She simply isn’t sufficiently conservative on taxes, spending, education, or health care.

And in the race as an “Independent Republican”, seeking to provide an alternative to her radical liberalism (from a South Carolinan’s perspective), is former legislator and judge Tom Ervin. But Ervin may not tick all of the boxes one might expect from those to the right of Haley. (CharlestonCityPaper)

Ervin writes:

Government does not belong in the bedroom. My personal faith affirms that marriage is between a man and a woman but under our Constitution, people in this country are afforded equal protection under our laws.

This means that anyone should be free to marry the person they love. Government should not be in the bedroom, but it should also not be in the church. Individual churches should be allowed to decide which marriage ceremonies they want to perform.

Further action on this matter, such as an appeal by the state, is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Well, ummm, yeah exactly!

So far, Haley has expressed support for the ban and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen was noncommital.

Sue Collins endorses marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

June 25th, 2014

sue collins
Senator Susan Collins (R – Maine) has announced that she supports marriage equality. (Bangor Daily News)

“A number of states, including my home state of Maine, have now legalized same-sex marriage, and I agree with that decision,” Collins said in response to a question from the BDN.

This shocks exactly no one. Collins has been a long-time ally of the community and was instrumental in overturning the ban on open service in the military.

She joins only three other GOP Senators in openly supporting marriage equality: Senators Rob Portman of Ohio, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. It is, nevertheless, an important addition and a step in the long road of changing the position of the Republican Party.

It will be interesting to see the response. I suspect the usual loons in the anti-gay special interest groups will whine, but I’m betting that no one in the party leadership is in anyway critical of Sen. Collins.

We are winning. Today was a good day.

Rick Perry: Ooops. I Did It Again.

Jim Burroway

June 20th, 2014

Rick Perry’s comments last week comparing gays and lesbians to alcoholics has elicited quite a few headslaps and groans across the political spectrum. Sane people see it as just another example of Texas-style ignorance and insanity, and even some Texas Republicans are wishing that he hadn’t opened his big mouth. And few are trying to step away from the recently-approved Texas GOP platform endorsing sexual orientation change therapy. All of this has threatened to derail that re-boot of the Republican Brand ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections. Texas GOP chairman Steve Munisteri, in particular, sees the danger:

But he did address the inclusion of reparative therapy in the platform, saying he doesn’t believe you can convert a LGBT individual to a heterosexual by simply talking to them.

“And 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?” Munisteri said.

Munisteri said he’s not the only one who opposes this plank in the party’s platform.

“My emails and phone calls to the office are running overwhelmingly opposed to that plank in the platform,” Munisteri said.

Ministeri describes the parliamentary maneuver that allowed the platform to be approved with the conversion therapy plank in place and says that there is no way to tell if a majority of Republicans statewide actually support the conversion therapy plank.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Perry’s handlers in his totally-not-running-for-Presidential campaign have apparently had a sit-down with him and have gotten him to see that his remarks weren’t going to win him any votes:

I got asked about an issue, and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, and get back to talking about, whether you’re gay or straight you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’ instead of getting — which I did, I readily admit, I stepped right in it,” he said.

 

Michigan GOP former Speaker of House calls for equality

Timothy Kincaid

June 17th, 2014

A number of formerly prominent Republicans have signed a brief urging the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the ruling that Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage is in violation of the US Constitution. (ClickOnDetroit)

The Republicans include former House Speaker Rick Johnson and former House Majority Leader Chris Ward.

Former U.S. Rep. John “Joe” Schwartz has signed on, along with former state lawmakers Leon Drolet, Doug Hart, Dave Honigman and Susan Grimes Gilbert.

It seems to me that in some parts of the country we have now reached the stage in our quest for equality wherein former GOP leaders or power-players are beginning to champion our cause. And while most of those currently in power do not yet appear to be willing to be publicly supportive, many have elected to adopt language such as “let the judicial system decide” or even “it is inevitable, so we should focus on respecting each other”.

While Republicans are not speaking in harmony with not the fully supportive language of the Democrats, I think that these shifts in the political stance of Republicans leaders, both current and former, foretell a time not so distantly ahead in which civil equality is assured and not even terribly controversial.

LGBT activist wins Nevada house nomination

Timothy Kincaid

June 13th, 2014

20140613-002852-1732990.jpg

Lauren Scott is the executive director of Equality Nevada and a leading advocate for civil rights issues in the state. She is also a government consultant and serves on the Equal Rights Commission.

She is now also her party’s candidate for Nevada Assembly District 30.

The Republican Party, that is (gaystarnews)

Scott received 58% of the vote over rival Republican primary candidate Adam Khan who only received the support of 42% of party members.

Khan had been endorsed by the Nevada Republican Assembly but Scott received endorsement from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval in her bid to be the candidate.

Sandoval appointed Scott to Nevada’s Equal Rights Commission in 2012 and she also helped found the group Equality Nevada.

Scott brings with her extensive military service and a devotion to the state. Scott had been a Democrat until 2011, but her passion for economic development and job creation – and the nature of Nevada politics – suggested that she’d be more effective as a Republican.

Should she win, she will make history. Lauren Scott will be Nevada’s first transgender legislator.

Meet the Guy Who Convinced the Texas GOP To Endorse Ex-Gay Therapy

Jim Burroway

June 12th, 2014
YouTube Preview Image

That’s Jeremy Joel, who Cathie Adams credits for the idea. Adams is President of the Texas Eagle Forum who spearheaded the effort to get the state Republican Party to endorse ex-gay therapy in its 2016 platform. Joel founded an ex-gay group called Joel 2:25 International, and Lone Star Q provides a roundup of his story:

In another post that includes the packet he sent to GOP delegates proposing the platform amendment, Joel discusses how he became an activist against bans on reparative therapy for minors like those that have passed California and New Jersey.

“Reparative Therapy and this type of ministry work played a significant role in saving my life and I have been blessed to help many others over the past four years,” Joel writes. “Recently though, this ministry work has been under attack across the country and in some states Republican legislators and Governors have been silent or complicit in passing these laws.”

According to an interview posted on YouTube, Joel lived an active gay life for about six years. He had two long-term relationships and attended a gay church but remained religiously conflicted and dissatisfied. In 2009, he sought treatment from California psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, a founder and former president of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

Nicolisi referred Joel to an ex-gay retreat called Journey Into Manhood, which he says reduced his same-sex attraction by 50 percent in one weekend.

Joel claims that his group has 400 members in 37 countries thanks to Skype. He also told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram that he thinks his idea has been overly hyped by both sides. Nevertheless, he’s happy with the platform plank as it stands:

Jeremy said the Republican platform amendment was much like the original version he took to Cathie Adams, president of Texas Eagle Forum.

The final version characterizes the therapy as “reparative” for patients “seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access.”

Jeremy said he is also glad that Republicans deleted other old platform language claiming that homosexuality “tears at the fabric of society” and blaming gays and lesbians for a “breakdown of the family.”

“We should never portray a hostile message about dividing people,” he said.

Too late.

 

Brat v Cantor

Timothy Kincaid

June 11th, 2014

The election of Dave Brat as Virginia’s 7th District GOP candidate, a move that expels House Majority Leader from the House of Representatives, has shocked the political world.

Tea Party advocates are seeing this as an indication that the Tea Party Movement is live, well, powerful, and underestimated. And many in our community see anything Tea Party to be a threat to our community.

They may be correct. But that also may be too simplistic of an assumption.

The Tea Party movement incorporates a great many people who see Washington politicians as out of touch and beholding to moneyed special interests. Certainly some of those include those who see an increasingly anti-religious fervor in government to be a threat and for many of them gay issues are a weathervane.

But the movement also includes those who see ever increasing federal involvement in their lives as a violation of the GOP purported belief that the state that governs least governs best. And many others see the constant ‘kick the can down the road’ approach to fiscal policy to be a sell out of the nation’s children.

And it also includes the somewhat disenfranchised libertarian wing of the party. These are the folks who mock both the Right and the Left for their incessant claims of freedom and liberty while simultaneously seeking to remove the rights of those they perceive as enemies.

It may be that Dave Brat fits in the latter category. The Wall Street Journal has reviewed some of his writings including this

Can Christians force others to follow their ethical teachings on social issues? Note that consistency is lacking on all sides of this issue. The political Right likes to champion individual rights and individual liberty, but it has also worked to enforce morality in relation to abortion, gambling, and homosexuality. The Left likes to think of itself as the bulwark of progressive liberal individualism, and yet it seeks to progressively coerce others to fund every social program under the sun via majority rule. Houston, we have a problem. Coercion is on the rise. What is the root word for liberalism? (Answer: Liberty)

On the other hand, Brat is a fervent Christian, holds Divinity degree (along with an economics degree), and clearly sees a role for faith in governance. That seldom promises hope for pro-gay positions on legislation.

It will be interesting to see how his views play out in the coming campaign and (as this is a safe Republican district) in his votes. I simply don’t know enough about this out-of-nowhere politician and think it far too soon to predict.

Texas GOP Approves Platform Supporting Ex-Gay Therapy

Jim Burroway

June 9th, 2014

About 10,000 Texas Republicans wrapped up their annual convention in Fort Worth this weekend to approve a new platform for the 2016 elections. Things looked promising at first, when the Dallas Voice reported that the party had stripped  a statement from their proposed platform proclaiming: “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, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”

Whatever good news that represented evaporated when a new plank on homosexuality surfaced:

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 Texas Republican Party approved that platform over the weekend.

The enshrinement of ex-gay therapy into the official agenda of the Texas Republican Party goes against the recommendations of every legitimate mental and medical health professional organization in America, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the American School Counselors Association.

The platform also opposes same-sex marriage, as well as “the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.”

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